Gig Review: Rhys Lewis, Mercury Lounge

Rhys Lewis

I was only at the Mercury Lounge a few weeks ago watching Ryan McMullan perform in a small room, but here I was again watching another UK import, Rhys Lewis just last week.

I’m very fond of an intimate gig as I feel the artist is much more at home with the audience and it allows for some back-and-forth interaction. To me, I would assume it’s a lot less pressure as there are only a few hundred people there and either the singer by him or herself or with one accompanist.

In intimate settings like this, there is no need for any pyrotechnics or big dance numbers. It’s always about the voice more than anything which is something I really appreciate and value.

If only the Mercury Lounge had a subscription service for their gigs.

Who, what, where?

I guess Rhys Lewis isn’t too well known over here in the US – although his gig at the Mercury Lounge did sell out – and even though you may not be familiar with the name (I wasn’t), you’ll definitely have heard a few of his songs.

I would say his most recognizable song is No Right to Love You which is a slow, acoustic song, kind of like the rest of his repertoire.

Anyhow, Rhys Lewis hails from Oxford, England and is set to go on tour with Mr. Lewis Capaldi in a few months’ time. This should surely mean that he’s on course to become very, very well known in the near future given Lewis Capaldi‘s level of fame these days.

Rhys told us that he had actually played a gig around the corner from the Mercury Lounge in the Rockwood Bar not that long before this gig and that it was great to see his New York audience grow to let him play larger venues. Hopefully some day he’ll be back and playing MSG.

The support act

We hadn’t anticipated that Rhys would be going on stage at 8pm as we rocked up to the venue at 7.45pm, missing the support act altogether.

However, the support on the night was Bre Kennedy, a native of Nashville who, after listening to a few songs on Spotify (other streaming services are available) I am a little gutted that I missed.

I would recommend checking out her music as she has a very, very nice voice.

Rhys Lewis

The verdict

I have to say, I went in knowing two or three songs and didn’t expect too much, but I’m hooked. I really, really value someone with a great voice and Rhys Lewis is an artist with exactly that.

We won’t judge him on forgetting the words to his own songs a few times as he blamed it on jetlag (been there) as the rest of the show made up for it completely.

Here are a few songs that I recommend you listen to, and while you’re at it, your should pre-order his album ‘Things I Chose To Remember‘ which is out April 24th.

  1. No Right to Love You
  2. End Like This
  3. Better Than Today
  4. Be Your Man
  5. Reason to Hate You
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