Review: Foy Vance, Foreign Slippers, The Farriers The Fleece by Keith Clark 9/10
IT has been six years since Foy Vance released the critically acclaimed album Hope. Since then he has been strangely quiet, other than a few odd EP releases and the occasional tour.
With the release of a new EP the Irish singer-songwriter is back on the road.
Stephen Macartney and Rachel Coulter from the five-piece Irish band The Farriers opened the show with delightful folk.
They were followed by Foreign Slippers, a duo comprising Gabi Froden from Sweden and her hubby Phil Wilkinson. Although they rocked it up on Avalanche their songs had a sombre beauty and Froden has a remarkable voice.
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When it comes to voice, though, there are few who can compare with Foy Vance, who opened his set on his own with Like An Animal using looped vocals to build the sound into a wonderful racket.
His band comprising The Farriers and Foreign Slippers plus a bass player and drummer then joined him for The Joy Of Nothing, the title track of his forthcoming sophomore album.
His voice is sensational with strong touches of Van Morrison, Joe Cocker and Otis Redding and his well-crafted songs have great catchy tunes and, especially in the case of Janey, very infectious choruses.
A lot of new songs got an airing but there were numerous oldies like the moving Homebird and Indiscriminate Act Of Kindness was the inevitable big crowd pleaser.
Songs like You And I and I Got Love were almost gospel and gave the band a chance to stretch their vocal chords. And by the time Vance launched into encore number Shed The Light the audience was also singing along in harmony.
The closing song, a very gospel style Guiding Light had the audience singing for 15 minutes and they continued long after Vance and the band had left the stage.
Sadly a small group of very noisy people right at the front were clearly irritating the singer but otherwise this was a really great gig.