Young Irish singer songwriter Hozier, takes the stage at The Albert Hall Manchester, following his huge performance at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich, where Fearne Cotton describes him as “the best voice out there”
In the surrounding beauty of Manchester’s Albert Hall, the atmosphere is set perfectly ready for his arrival; The early evening sunlight beaming through the stained glass windows of the restored chapel, banners draped from the upper tier and chants from the excited fans that have travelled miles to see him “Hozier, Hozier, Hozier” Hozier casually arrives on stage, opening the gig with ‘Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene’ you can feel the waves of excitement from the audience as the song fully kicks in.
“How’s it going Manchester?”
Love song ‘Someone New’- co-written with his ex-girlfriend is a unbelievably catchy number “this is gorgeous, thank you Manchester, for this fantastic evening” The 25 year old then launches into ‘To be alone’ a track that is true to blues form as he plays on a cigar box guitar. Breath-taking.
Hozier’s fellow Irish singer-cellist Allana Henderson joins him for ‘In a Week’ she takes her place at the front, on the mic stand next to his which is half the height. Their voices are beautiful together, a ‘pin drop moment.
10 tracks in, the Irishman hums out the first few notes to soulful track ‘Arsonist’s Lullabye’ His slow-burning gospel blues alongside the fantastic backing band who lift the song perfectly, the vibe in the hall picks up Into what you could imagine an intimate blues jazz bar.
”This is the second time we have played in Manchester, this is amazing thank you. I look forward to coming back”
It’s time, for the one track we have all been waiting for ‘Take me to church’ the hit single has the entire hall singing along. He has a standing ovation before he leaves the stage. The audience are stomping and cheering for an encore. As he returns “I will do a few more songs maybe”
The tall, lean figure alone on stage singing “Cherry Wine” for the encore, giving an even deeper soulful blues feel to the evening. Introducing the band back to the stage, one by one, together they perform a slightly strange cover ‘1 Thing’ (Amerie cover), but it works, it has everyone singing along. Then finishing on ‘Works Song’ which has a gospel feel to it, completing the gig perfectly. The band come together and present a bow to the audience.
Hozier was the perfect fun but chilled gig to finish off a hectic bank holiday weekend.
This guy is in doubt going to be around for a while, If you get chance, catch him at V festival or Glastonbury before he jets off to the US to continue his tour.