Foy Vance at Union Chapel

It’s been a while since I’ve seen old Foy. I used to trail him round when I lived back in Fleetwood, and go and see him whenever he was playing in the North West. I think I saw him perform to ten people in the basement of the bar next door to the Night and Day in Manchester. How things have changed.

Last night he played to a sold out Union Chapel, and as he pointed out himself, this is high praise given he’s not released a record for night on five years. ‘Why do you keep coming?’ he asked.
I don’t know – there’s something uplifting about his songs, a gentleness of handling that makes him able to sing about profound feelings without seeming trite or disrespectful.

Anyway, the sound all went wrong. It’s not the first time I’ve seen Foy when technology has let him down. He decided to sing on, a cappella. And because we were actually a cappella, the acoustics were perfect to carry his voice. Even the drummer wasn’t massively put out, getting out an egg shaker that made the audience laugh at his ingenuity.

It did mean we couldn’t really hear his banter, and when he got wind of murmurings of discontent in the balcony, he climbed the stairs and performed up in the gods for us.

The truth is, I prefer Foy when it’s just him, his voice and his guitar, so in some ways I was glad he was forced to strip it back, although I appreciate the added value of backing singers, percussion and computer looping. When you’re singing raw songs, a raw voice unplugged does it fair justice. Or maybe I’m just being like all those music fans who always claim the band was better in the old days.

Regardless, technology may fail and audiences may murmur, but strong songs and heartfelt performers should stand in their own right. And in this instance, Foy definitely stood tall.

courtesy of craigdfreeman


2 responses to “Foy Vance at Union Chapel

    • Not at all! I’ve edited it now. Should have checked with you first, so thank you for being so gracious 🙂

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