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Concert review: Foy Vance at Islington Assembly Hall

  Thursday 14th March 2013

It’s been six years since Foy Vance released his debut album, and after touring with Ed Sheeran earlier this year, the Irishman is ready to unleash new album Joy of Nothing upon the world. Show-goers stopped by Islington’s Assembly Hall to watch Foy’s final gig and find out what he’s been working on all this time.

Spectators are sat on the floor of the intimate venue, bathing under violet light and buzzing with anticipation of what Foy has in store. Farriers, the support band, set the atmosphere with their Irish humour, describing their music as “songs to slap your thighs to…or your wives thighs”.

Suddenly, the audience are greeted with the man they’ve been waiting for. Sporting a flat cap and his trademark moustache, the Bangor boy lets out a passionate scream which could tear the roof off the hall. Bent double over his guitar, Vance sings, “darling let’s get out of here,” as if it’s his last performance. He’s joined by the support acts for his latest track Joy of Nothing (all the while clutching their beers as they follow his lead), endearingly neatening his moustache throughout.

Couples sway to Vance’s Bon Iver-esque vocal when he exposes his softer side half way through the concert, sighing, “Hold me close and hold me strong, hold me pure and hold me long. He takes out a violin bow to play his guitar, producing an achingly beautiful sound: these are lovers’ lullabies. Foy announces that this next song is used in sausage commercials back in Ireland, and without warning, the audience become a two hundred-strong choir singing along to Home Bird and the touching words, “Consider it an indiscriminate act of kindness”. 

Foy reminisces on his tour with Rizzle Kicks, describing himself as “a singer who lives in the mountains writing songs about cancer and heart-break…but it worked well” – and much to the crowd’s surprise, he brings Rizzle Kicks’ Harley to join him onstage for Pain Never Hurt Me Like Love“, going on to joke “…and people say I’m not hip!”.

It’s nearing the end of the show, and when the artist announces this will be the last song, the audience respond with cries of ”Nooo!” They’ve fallen in love with Foy Vance tonight, and will be singing all the way home with visions of moustaches clouding their thoughts.

Verdict: ••••

Gemma Whitfield

For further information about Foy Vance and future events visit here.

Watch the video for Joy Of Nothing here:

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