A miserable night again in the UK, as storms are battering coastlines, destroying houses and ripping up trees! In Cardiff however there was a ray of sunlight in the form of hometown heroes Zervas and Pepper. A husband and wife who perform together with harmony-heavy folk rock, that have already played the legendary Glastonbury festival, gained UK airplay on national BBC radio stations, and performed recently at Green Man Festival.
A bit more on them later, first on was an incredible raw talent Gabrielle Murphy, who grew in confidence and stature as her set soared along. An alternative Pop singer with self-penned material that oozes class and soul with her incredible composed power and a voice that would melt butter. Kicking proceedings off with Bad, full of mood, almost like a dark power ballad but just brilliant and her set was over before you knew it. Leaving an audience full of new fans who wanted more and additionally anyone who wants to cover Frank Ocean to a wider audience is cool by me.
Before tonight I had never listened to Zervas and Pepper, going into the unknown with nothing but positive and glowing reviews to go on. It’s safe to say that all the press reviews and people gushing about them is completely justified. Zervas and Pepper are a spell-binding duo with their fantastic ear for a melody. Live they are accompanied by a band, for a fuller and more comprehensive sound. There is a distinct tone of smooth Americana with the tenderness of Country music and the downbeat Blues-Rock seeming through the seams. The music always focuses on the unique point of the band of Paul Zervas and Kathryn Pepper’s vocal harmonies that are a match made in perfect music heaven. Comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, with those harmonies and melodies dripping of seventies influence and brought up to modern day Folk standards. In between songs the intermission chit-chat brings out the warmth and friendly personalities that are woven into their music.
Zervas and Pepper’s set is fresh and crisp that time just flies by again, a perfect homecoming for the band who delivered and long may it continue.
Richard Samuel (