Vance Joy at Brixton Academy
Opening with the superbly thundering Fire and the Flood, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy headlined last night to a sold-out crowd at the Brixton Academy. Since 2013, the musician has carved out a brilliant spot for himself in the indie folk scene and crashed into the mainstream with his humongous hit Riptide. His stature has continued to grow, with him bagging a touring gig with Taylor Swift and shooting straight to the top of the Australian charts with his sophomore album Nation of Two.
Whilst this recent release has received a mixed reception from the music press, this didn’t stop Vance Joy from delivering an incredible performance to an enthusiastic audience. Fire and the Flood was a stupendous and strong opening to the night, allowing him to flow into From Afar, which kept the crowd captivated and energetic.
Vance Joy is probably more known for his airy and light acoustic sounds that conjure images of open mic nights at cafes. However, he brought to Brixton Academy a terrific live band with adept brass and saxophones bolstered by strong drumming. This worked so well in creating a great dynamism in the concert, with the setlist veering between more energetic and upbeat tunes like Saturday Sun and the slower I’m With You.
Refreshingly, the show was strengthened by the Aussie singer’s positive and engaging stage presence. Vance Joy came across as an affable guy, joking with the crowd when necessary, but never getting too self-indulgent when elaborating on meanings of songs “personal to him”. Even if the subject matter of his tracks are generally attempts at mature reflections on romance, the singer weaved a lot of fun into the evening, as he indulged in some sillier moments, covering Lionel Richie’s All Night Long and Justin Bieber’s Sorry.
Truthfully, no one is calling Vance Joy the strongest singer or most innovative act in the indie scene. However, perhaps more so than other artists, the singer-songwriter has a superb grasp of the fundamentals of putting on a terrific live show. He’s tuned in to what fans want to hear, as seen in the closing three songs of his set. His performances of Mess Is Mine, Lay It On Me and Riptide were spectacularly well done and closed off a brilliant night.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit Vance Joy’s website here.
Watch the video for Lay It On Me here: