Zigfrid Von Underbelly is a unique and crazy DJ Bar / Live Music Venue in Hoxton that supports Indie-pendent Music, and is well known for its array of authentic, varied and sensational talent gracing the stages. The reputation of Zigfrid’s is exactly why I randomly decided to take my tired, Tuesday evening to its presence in the hope of some atmosphere and good tunes, and it must have been the work of a higher power because the act that I arrived just in time to see setting up, was a real eye opener and the sort of performance that haunts your mind for days and days after, and leaves you feeling better off than when you woke up that morning.
The performance I am putting in such suspense came from Orange County native Mr Ed Prosek, who kindly brought his original, eclectic flavour of orchestral Folk/Pop brilliance to Brighton in 2010, and he continues to release his musical magic into the UK singer-songwriter scene, rapidly establishing himself as a true up and coming artist with serious and undeniable prospects. You may actually be reading this unaware you have already sung along to one of Ed’s songs, or he may be the reason as to why your fridges are always full with Cathedral City Cheese – because in fact Ed‘s single “Homeward Bound” was the soundtrack for their ad campaign back in 2012.
Anyway back to the show… Ed comes with a voice that is powerful, professional and poised ready for arenas, but yet still it is unique and raw enough for intimate shows like the one I witnessed. Ed kickstarted his set with a track entitled “Home” which is set to be released as part of a forthcoming EP due out in October. The song was a knock out and one of those rare and beautiful moments when you can completely lose any sense of reality, and can just be taken somewhere more beautiful, or in this case simply – Home.
I think the people upstairs must have heard Ed’s voice as the room began to get more and more full, leading Ed on to his next song, which was a cover of the legendary Bob Dylan’s “Moonshiner”. However the song may be Dylan’s but Ed appeared to be taking his inspiration from The Punch Brothers version of the track as it came with a more modern authenticity. Nonetheless no matter what version Ed was challenging, it is safe to say “Moonshiner” is now a track by Ed Prosek, as he sung it with such clarity and originality that you feel unaware of any previous version, which just goes to show the true distinction between his and other cover attempts.
Ed went on to sing an array of songs from his previous EP’s Willow Tree and California, and he even sung a song that he said was untitled as he explained he sometimes struggles to name his songs, this left a real honesty and modesty to his performance, and in my opinion, his songs are so strong, real and utterly captivating that no names are needed anyway, they name themselves. However, next was EP title track “California“, which was Ed’s debut release back in 2012 and earned him critical and commercial acclaim, which is not surprising as the song is one of those singles that will always remain as one of the artists most iconic tracks. “California” is a rare gem, and is about California from the perspective of living in England.
“Oh she may not have the brains or the class but God she’s got the looks, and when you wake you’ll quickly find California’s got you hooked”, soar Ed’s beautiful vocals, and I’m not sure about Cali (due to the fact I have never been) but boy Ed sure has me hooked!!! The single is complex, deep and yet somehow simplistic, with the musicality and intricacy, mixed with the raw and rustic acoustic sound, the overall creation as utter genius.
Ed’s final song was a track entitled “Hold On Tight” which is off his – what should be a critically acclaimed – Orchestral band’s EP. That’s right Ed’s skills set is certainly not limited, as he is the son of an opera composer, and has years of study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a stint with the notable Magik*Magik Orchestra, leading Ed’s undeniable God-given talents to emerge even more trained and nurtured in a Classical form. This professional essence of Ed’s sound aviates from every single song, and is nowhere more apparent than in his vocal ability. He has a very rare and unique voice that overflows with raw and natural brilliance, and his training and classical background just elevates Ed’s sound into new levels, leaving him a force to be reckoned with!!
Oh wait he got summoned for an Encore, big surprise there… Or not since I was one of the audience members screaming for more, but never the less Ed was thrilled to continue and looked extremely grateful to have been welcomed into the venue in such a big way. The actual finale was a stunning and intimate song about really young love known as “Sonoma“. This track may be hidden in the California EP but it is a song that should not be missed. It starts out as a gentle simplistic song that matures gradually throughout to become a beautiful and solid all round respectable piece of art, and really gave a natural end to the show, leaving the audience with a sense of closure and contentment.