Elyar Fox at The Borderline
To descend the stairs of The Borderline to a performance by Elyar Fox is to enter the world of a teen pop sensation. As parents and chaperones gather at the back of the room, minding coats and bags, the exotically-named Fox appears on stage and his young fans squeal with delight. It’s a sound that will reoccur throughout the evening.
Fox is a surprisingly polished entertainer for a 19-year-old playing a headline show, and he effortlessly segues from conversing with the throng of excitable girls in the front row to serenading them with tracks from his latest EP The ‘Good Friends’ Acoustic. His patter may be unsophisticated and his anecdotes low on laughs, but Fox has the confidence of a seasoned professional and this self-assuredness endears him to the crowd. It’s commendable that he has opted for a stripped-down, acoustic set tonight as it allows him to showcase his voice and musical ability (he alternates between keyboard and guitar) without relying on pyrotechnics or elaborate dance choreography to hold the room’s attention.
However, a pop star is only as good as their material and Fox’s songs lack depth and memorable hooks. He has been compared in the press to Conor Maynard and Justin Bieber, but Fox hasn’t got the infectious melodies that have made those artists so successful at his disposal. It’s telling that the best tracks of the night are all covers, particularly Sam Smith’s I’m Not the Only One and Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. Déjà Vu is the standout of Fox’s own compositions, a short, sweet song that sounds like a One Direction B-side and lets the audience join in with choral backing vocals.
Near the end of his set, a girl jumps onto the stage and gives Fox a big hug. She looks emotionally drained but delighted with her teen idol’s performance. It may be uncomplicated and unchallenging, but Elyar Fox’s music gives his fans exactly what they want and only the most cynical of music snobs would begrudge them their enjoyment.
For further information about Elyar Fox and future events visit here.
Watch the video for A Billion Girls here: