Billy Lockett + Ferris & Sylvester @ O2 Institute, 12th April 2019

I have been listening to Ferris & Sylvester for a while now so I was excited to see them live. Ferris is a multi-instrumentalist with a very powerful voice and Sylvester played the guitar, while also playing a subtle drum bass with his foot throughout the set. The duo is winning hearts all over the world with their distinctive blend of blues, folk and Americana. After the European tour with Billy Lockett, they returned to UK for the last few stops. Birmingham was the first stop and Ferris confessed that she used to come there at the O2 Institute all the time when she was little, so playing at this venue has a special meaning for her.

They played their new single, ‘Flying Visit’, released the same day, another soulful and powerful song about which Ferris & Sylvester say: “Quite simply, it’s a love song. It’s all the things that we often want to say – ‘I love you, please don’t leave me’ – but we stop ourselves because we’re grown up and grown ups don’t do that. Children are much better at speaking their minds and that’s what inspired this song — unaffected and unashamed love.” Ferris admitted that it is a very personal song and it is difficult to play it.

They also played ‘Sickness’ with its bluesy feels and ended with the energetic ‘London’s Blues’, during which Sylvester broke a guitar string, but he continued his performance as if nothing happened. This time they haven’t played their best known song, ‘Better in Yellow’, as they are trying to alternate their set list. But if you love it as much as I do and want to get the live experience, make sure to be there when they return to the O2 Institute as part of the Under The Apple Tree UK tour. 

After having to cancel his first concert in Birmingham because only 9 tickets were sold, Billy Lockett was overwhelmed, as this time it was  sold out!  Having only his piano and his powerful voice, he opened with ‘Wide Eyes’ while the audience cheered him. 

Among the songs he played were ‘Eye To Eye’, which he always plays on tour, but sadly it has never been released. He affirmed that he tries to make sure that his songs are as true and honest as possible and many of his songs are love songs, but about his Dad, rather than about an ex. Before playing ‘Burn It Down’, Billy confessed that it is dedicated to his Dad.

After going on tour with Lana Del Rey, he found himself having to cancel the tour he was on with Birdie when he found out that his dad passed away, four years ago. He disclosed how after that he moved into his dad’s house, got a cat and a piano and wrote hundreds of songs.

During his whole performance, the crowd loved him and his songs as you could hear them sing along all night. Billy said that when he was 8 years old he told his Dad that he will be on the radio one day and his Dad took him very seriously. He believes that everyone should have someone who supports their crazy ideas because you never know when the reality will be even better than your dreams.

He ended with ‘Fading Into Grey’ which describes with brutal honesty the end of a relationship. He thanked everyone and left the stage, but came back for one more single, ‘Empty House’.

As one of the most promising artists in UK at the moment, Billy Lockett continues to explore and improve, while supported by an ever-growing fan base.

Set list

Wide Eyed


Hands Tied


Covered in Chaos

Every Time You’re High


Hard Act To Follow

Eye To Eye

Blackmail Kiss

Burn It Down

Fading Into Grey


Empty House


Photographer/Reviewer: Andra Tudoran

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