Ferris and Sylvester

The Green Door Store, Brighton, Thursday, September 19

IT IS always enjoyable to see a band’s true colours come out during a live show.

For Ferris and Sylvester, that meant cranking up the volume and levelling their guitars at the bluesy-rock end of their sound, rather than the quieter folk of many of their songs.

Issy Ferris, on shared vocal duties with Archie Sylvester, fed her bass through a bank of distortion pedals to beef up the sound, adding a snarling layer underneath the guitar work of her bandmate.

Accompanying the full-time drummer was a floor-level kick drum and tambourine, operated by Sylvester with foot pedals and adding extra punch when required.

Blues-flavoured but fuelled by rock and roll, the sound was reminiscent of the moody desert rock of Queens of the Stone Age.

And, just as one began to imagine a Ferris and Sylvester song fitting nicely into the soundtrack of the next series of Peaky Blinders, they threw in a quick cover of Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand, the show’s theme.

What gives the band their USP is Issy Ferris’s voice, which combines a cartoonish sweet tone with a gravelly, throaty roar and bursts of fast vibrato.

It’s unusual, surprising, and excellent.

The band’s folkier numbers were given an airing later on, with acoustic guitar, slide guitar and vocal harmonies adding more intricate textures, before This Is Really How My Voice Sounds, a new song from an album currently being recorded, went from heartfelt ballad to full-on Queen-style stadium rock in a very satisfying manner.

Daniel Searle