Emily Maguire at Hoxton HallCultureMusicLive music
The anticipation for Emily Maguire’s long-awaited fourth album, Bird Inside a Cage, was almost tangible inside a packed-out Hoxton Hall on Friday night. It’s hard to believe that the cosy little hall could feel any more homely, but the close-knit family that is Maguire’s fan base emanated adoration for their beloved songstress. Glistening in a 20s style bejewelled dress, she joins a seven-piece band including a string quartet, to open with Free, a favourite from the album Believer.
The new album’s Rain is met with a hushed curiosity as the audience assesses the product of their donations to the wholly fan-funded album. They respond with nothing short of delight as Maguire charms with her soft-spoken, unassuming disposition and the fervour in her delivery. Albeit impressed by the new tracks, her fans can’t hide their joy as the familiar chords of Keep Walking fill the room. The singer-songwriter continues with an unpretentious set list, resisting the temptation to play exclusively new tracks and hence avoiding the disappointment of an audience robbed of their old favourites. The buzzing crowd is clearly grateful for this perfectly balanced collection of old and new and warmly welcomes the sweetly folk-infused Bicycle Made for Two.
The combination of the strings, the glittering dress and the somewhat haunting sounds of Old Valentine instil a sense of old-time glamour to the stage, set off by Maguire’s own inherent elegance. The closing track, Beautiful, is met with a well-deserved standing ovation and an obvious demand for an encore, for which a humbled, gracious Maguire is happy to oblige. An original version of Start Over Again, dedicated to her husband and bassist, wraps up an evening that feels more like a family reunion than an album launch. The atmosphere is warm, the vibe content. It’s safe to say not a single person left Hoxton Hall on Friday night without a feeling of admiration for a woman who has truly made friends of her fans.
Photos: Indrek Galetin
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Watch the video for Beautiful here: