Foy Vance: Hope in the Highlands
Foy Vance is discovered in a forest wearing a peroxide blond wig and surrounded by a group of similarly wig-sporting listeners. From this unusual beginning, the singer proceeds to talk about, in almost mystical tones, his reason for producing this music film. He speaks of music’s capacity to comfort us in these troubling times its constant presence in our lives. “Why, then, am I only making this music event now?”, he asks himself – not least because this year was one he intended to spend in silence, listening to the world. Of course, his plan ended up becoming a way of life worldwide, but he reiterates the need for music in our era of politicians who are more akin to “supersized food giants,” spewing rhetoric and falsehoods. Music, according to Vance, is where we find truth amid the noise.
Pronouncements over, the show begins. Viewers are transported to the warmth of a living room in Aberfeldy, the singer’s current hometown in the Highlands, welcomed to the space by the crackling of a large open fire. The gig is cosy, shot and produced by his creative partner, Gregg Houston of Babysweet Productions, which only intensifies the intimacy. Vance often speaks to the viewer from an armchair by the fire, and his performance feels as if it was made just for you. This feeling of being addressed directly is complemented by the songs chosen, all of which were his most listened to tracks on Spotify over the lockdown period. The entire show seems catered to the viewer – almost a virtual pub experience.
The songs blend perfectly into one another with Ziggy Looked Me in the Eye seamlessly transitioning into Shed a Little Light. The performance of Bangor Town is especially powerful; Vance’s love for Northern Ireland resounds and undoubtedly resonates with viewers unable to return home this Christmas. Good Time Southern Soul ups the tempo of the evening, and Burden and Closed Hand Full of Friends are notable performances.
Punctuating the set with shots of the fire and armchair chat with the audience about friendship, his love of music and the necessity of pursuing what inspires you, Vance delivers a gently paced concert full of affection. For fans and those who have never heard the music before, this was the perfect festive and restorative antidote to winter and our troubling times.
For further information and future events visit Foy Vance’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Bangor Town here: