Gig review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Hozier

We’ve covered lots of ‘one name’ artists in our time at GJ’s HQ and more often than not they’ve hit the spot. Think Adele, Rihanna and Jay Z – all quality gigs and all very much appreciated by the legions of fans in attendance. Possibly it’s the psychology of confidence that carrying oneself with a solitary moniker brings. A certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ as they say! Whatever the reason, people with one name normally are pretty bloomin’ impressive.

Hozier

Well now good people, please add Hozier – the cheeky chappy who hails from County Wicklow Ireland to the list of ‘one named wonders’ to have their name scribed on to the Gig Junkies hall of fame.

Hozier

Support came from Wyvern Lingo. Think an Irish cross between Keane (instrumentally at least – no bass, keys taking care of all the low bits) and Destiny’s Child (vocally, gender wise, and harmoniously) and you’re half way there. Their brand of music is certainly distinctive – combining alternative folk, pop with a modern Electro R&B twist whilst utilising their lovely melodies. Nice! One for the future.

Hozier

After a musical interlude featuring many a classic to pump the mood up a notch, the impressively tall and evidently laid back Irishman made is way to the state promptly at 9pm as advertised. Good news for those whose parking tickets were set to expire to the letter, like yours truly.

Now, I’m not saying he’s a handsome long haired brute with a Cheshire cat smile and a cheeky Irish brogue to match, but there was an awful lot of young females in attendance. Coincidence?

“How’s it going Birmingham? You alright?” greeted the self-proclaimed ‘Gangly Introvert’ and then wasted no time into bursting into the first of his many Ecclesiastical hits ‘Angels of Small Death and the Codeine Scene’ instantly creating a massive sound ably assisted by his musical cohorts and backing vocalists.

Hozier

The first thing that struck me about the singer was ‘massive hands’. Huge! Maybe another attraction for the female fraternity. A by-product of having over-sized ‘shovel hands’ was the ability to play haunting blues riffs with apparent ease as he cruised into the delightful ‘From Eden’ and the oh so catchy ‘Jackie and Wilson’.

Hozier

Paying tribute to David Bowie with a cover of the legend’s ‘Young Americans’ and constantly reciprocating the audiences appreciation, Hozier seemed like a genuinely nice guy and really appreciative when Wyvern Lingos Karen Cowley joined him and his solitary guitar for a beautiful rendition of ‘In a Week’.

Hozier

Great guitar playing aside, he’s vocally really impressive too. A massively powerful and tuneful voice which really suits his style.

Unsurprisingly the gig ended with ‘Take Me to Church’ and a multitude of camera phones being raised into the air with videos set to record; evidently the fans favourite which was perfectly delivered.

Hozier

Adding more weight to the ‘Mr Nice guy’ argument H thanked every member of ‘team Hozier’ for their part in the gig. Yes, every member including the sound man and the guitar tech! He then went on to give special props to his keyboard player who not only was decent on the blacks and whites, but also played bass and did backing vox all at the same time.

Hozier

The encore was when things got a little weird. It started with his ramblings about the fact that his band ‘don’t do crack and don’t do smack’ before outing one of his members for being a smack head, which was quickly followed by a really strange version of the Beatles Blackbird. That slight Ornithological blip aside, it was a truly awesome gig and an proved that Hozier is certainly an artist you should try and get to see when he’s playing near you.

Hozier

2 Responses to “Hozier at The O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 2nd February 2016”

  1. Karen Says:

    I really enjoyed the gig, he’s an amazing, talented, man and has such a sensitive and powerful voice, great we energy and grace. The band are superb.
    It was good to be introduced to Wyvern Lingo.
    I liked your write up and the pics. A brilliant night, I was “over the moon” and glad to be part of.

  2. Birmingham: February 2, 2016 - Hozier's Guitars Says:

    […] Gig Junkies – “Great guitar playing aside, he’s vocally really impressive too. A massively powerful and tuneful voice which really suits his style.” […]

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