Quite frankly, I can’t get enough of Foy Vance. I’ve seen him more times than I can count, and it was strange to think that now he can fill Union Chapel, when maybe three years ago I was seeing him perform to twenty people in the basement bar of the pub next door to the famous Night and Day club in Manchester…
Anyway, Kill it Kid started the night off, and to give them credit, I quite liked them. I always think it’s hard to make a judgement on a band you’ve never heard before when you hear them as a support act – you’re not always in the zone for their kind of music. But I’d happily listen to them again.
But like I said, I wasn’t there for them. I was there for Foy.
He was amazing at Union Chapel, starting the night with an acoustic version of Abide With Me which was perfect for the candlelit church we were sitting in. Pews don’t ever feel as uncomfortable when you’re totally absorbed in what you’re hearing.
He completely milked the acoustics and the atmosphere so we heard more of his melancholy and reflective songs, including the gorgeous Billie Jean cover that seems to come as standard these days. But I didn’t feel cheated, especially when he finished the night (officially – of course he did an encore) with Two Shades of Hope.
It’s hard not to be moved when you hear it live.
Here’s the words:
If there’s one thing that I know, it is the two shades of hope –
One the enlightening soul, and the other is more like a hangman’s rope.
Well it’s true you may reap what you sow, but not that despair is the all time low.
Baby, hope deals the hardest blows.
There was once someone I loved, whose heart overflowed his cup,
And his shoes got covered in blood, but he never knew cos he only looked up.
Well he was a troubled soul who had known pain more than most I know, yet it was hope that dealt the hardest blows.
The girl that holds the hand of her somewhat distant man, though she did everything she can, still his heart set sail for distant lands.
And she wonders sometimes if he knows how she feels like a trampled rose?
Baby, hope deals the hardest blows
Some people think their sin caused the cancer thats eating into them and the only way that they can win is by the healing of somebody’s hands on their skin and praying…
But when the cancer does not go…
Baby, hope dealt the hardest blows
Now all these truths are so, with foundations below them. They were dug out in a winter’s cold, when the world stole our young and preyed on the old.
Hope deals in the hardest blows,
Yet I cannot help myself but hope
I guess that’s why love hurts and heartache stings and despair is never worse than the despair that death brings
But hope deals the hardest blows, dear
Hope deals the hardest blows.