The electric, alternative pop guitar fusion stylings of Izzy T was brought to London’s The Grace on an excitingly warm Thursday night. Armed with killer vocals and a trapeze of across-the-pond experience, this on-the-rise musician was a name I had heard through various industry grapevines with only the most commendable of words spoken.
Izzy T – BEX
The Grace, London – 15 June 2023
Words: Monty Sewell
Photography: Antonio Giannattasio
In a world filled with promising talent and an industry with bucket loads of determined artists, it’s rare to hear the same name pop up from varying circles, shed in the same good light. But Izzy T seems to be part of that infrequent group. The British-Iranian singer has an armful of released singles, a reputation for the fearless and a show I just had to attend.
Playing with Izzy T was Claire Genoud on guitar and Ivan Panella on drums, who both session for her also. In the broader sense of this game, it’s not often you get to see those who worked directly on the music also perform it. So even before playing, I was expecting a familiarity with the studio tracks to be mixed in with the live takes.
As the drink-bearing fans inch closer to the stage, an intro track starts playing, and the chatter immediately stops. Genoud and Panella take their places before Izzy T herself launches into the spotlight to a resounding cheer from her audience. With the tough style of a no questions asked rocker and a smile that instigates immediate warmth from her crowd, Izzy T is here.
The released track I Feel Everything kicks things off, and from then on, it’s an eye-widening demonstration of an artist who deserves the bigger stage. With phenomenal vocals, which range up into falsetto wails, then back down into classic rock growls, she hosts such an undoubting professional standpoint. But that’s not to say any rock ‘n’ roll fun is lost.
Coming in after songs Nuclear and Love 2 Hate You, Izzy invites the audience into her world with some unfiltered self-commentary. “All my songs are so fucking angry,” She says with a chuckle from her and a laughing cheer from us.
Covering t.A.T.u’s All The Things She Said with a cutthroat guitar riff behind is totally original and a completely nostalgic trip for all of us ’90s babies. Genoud and Panella play off Izzy’s gregarious stage persona. You can tell they’ve played together for a while, complementing one another as Izzy prowls across the stage, using every differently levelled surface she can.
They guide us through a gritty, razor-sharp set before finishing up with On My Mind and the absolute smasher Catch Myself. Finishing on a high doesn’t even cover it. Ravaged with emotion but composed with such a potent, heavy beat punch, the song is one for the books and even more so done in this live setting.
Having literally just returned from LA, where she played two Hollywood shows in-between various writing sessions, it was noteworthy to say there did not seem to be an ounce of jet lag on her as she agreed to have a quick chat. It really was great to speak to someone highly up and coming about the struggles faced by musicians these days but also the realisations that come with it.
Commenting on the devil’s cycle of social media, she had some refreshing insights. “As artists, we focus so much these days on all the bullshit, the playlists, labels, number of followers, which are important, but really it’s about your art and the fans. I would pick supporters over ‘followers’ any day.”
In a superficial, online world, Izzy T seems to have my kind of right idea. Due to release a load of new music over the Summer as well as playing at Amplified festival on the 15 July 2023. It’s looking like a hot shot to the top for this artist. As said by Izzy T herself, “This summer is going to be kick ass.”
Upon entering the venue support act, BEX, bounds onto the stage with more energy than a racing car on a gallon of red bull. A punk rock musician with a fiery sense of stage persona engulfs the audience with her ‘no bullshit’ attitude. Raw, unapologetic and unfailingly entertaining BEX is a pocket rocket of angry spice with a delectable enticement.
Latest release, Don’t Date The Devil, is precisely what you’d expect it to be. If you’re in the mood for some straight-to-the-bone punk snarl, then get yourself straight to those streaming platforms where you’ll find all her music.