George Ezra: End to End review – singer-songwriter’s charming cross-Britain hike

After months of isolation and anxious about touring again, Ezra and two friends walk the length of the UK meeting musicians in an uplifting documentary

George Ezra’s reputation as the nicest man in pop emerges intact from this easygoing documentary that follows his 95-day, 1,200 mile walk from Land’s End to John o’Groats. Striding out in box-fresh hiking boots, tent strapped to his rucksack, he’s joined by two old mates from his uni days in Bristol, Adam Scarborough and Christy Tattershall, who direct. (Though we never catch a glimpse of the support vehicle that presumably carried the acoustic guitar and fire pit.)

It’s spring 2021. Ezra is anxious about touring again. After months of isolation, he wants to be back out in the world, but he’s nervous about returning to a punishing schedule. Sitting by a river in West Yorkshire, he tells Scarborough and Tattershall how unwell touring left him before the pandemic, emotionally and mentally drained. He describes breaking down in London on a rare day off, crying his eyes out trying to pull on a sock. Ezra is very good on mental health. Still, you won’t learn much about his private life here; he manages to be open about his struggles while guarding his privacy, no mean feat.

The best scenes are in places meaningful to him. Tent pitched on Glastonbury’s Worthy Farm, he talks about watching the festival every year on TV as a kid: “Even getting a ticket felt impossible.” In Bristol, where he dropped out of college, he looks wistfully at an old poster of his younger self in a pub: “I look like a baby.” There are some performances by other musicians along the route that feel a bit tacked on. Much nicer are the campfire singalongs.

It’s impossible not to be charmed by Ezra. He may be one of the most successful singer-songwriters in recent years, but if he’s got an ego, it clearly doesn’t need feeding that often. He’s positive, sunny and upbeat – even in a swirl of midges in the Highlands. He’s unlikely to get offers to present a travel show on the back of his commentary here: “Waterfalls are amazing!” But, to be fair, most of us can identify with failing to find the words to match the spectacle of a natural wonder.

• George Ezra: End to End is released on 29 August in cinemas.


Cath Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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