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10:00pm

Foy Vance
    Wednesday March 14, 2012 10:00pm - 10:40pm @ Central Presbyterian Church (200 E 8th St)
    FOY VANCE – 2011

    Some hail him as the new Van Morrison, which is praise indeed, so I was very
    interested to see what all the fuss was about when he blew in to do his only
    London gig at the Union Chapel.

    Firstly, the beautiful surroundings of the Chapel at December time, bedecked
    with a splendid Christmas tree gave the evening a sense of glorious
    expectancy. The festive spirit seemed to have crystallised and the "goodwill to
    all men" was ever present, the vibe was good so it was now up to the artist to
    deliver.........no pressure then!

    Breezing onto the stage, cracking jokes about singing hymns (well his dad
    was in the bible business!) put the crowd at ease and allowed Foy to unfold
    his magic on us. I knew in seconds this was going to be a very special
    evening and by god it was!

    The first thing you noticed about FV is his immensely soulful voice. Capable of
    touching the very depth of your being a sound paradoxically feather-light and
    grave, giving way to the grittiest blue-eyed soul you're ever likely to hear. It
    has an incomparable soul-baring intensity, which seemed to bathe everything
    around him in a shrouded mist.

    Foy's striking set of dolorous songs kept the listener on the edge of their seat.
    Each pick or strum of the guitar well chosen, each lyric well honed. The depth
    of the material offers much grace and assurance and the voice conveys, in its
    soaring peaks and writhing in breathy whispers - an alluring sensuality few, if
    any could match.

    Comparisons (Morrison, Waits, Bono! Buckley, Scott ...and I could go on) are
    futile suffice to say this guy gives more bang for his buck than the lot put
    together. Why Foy isn't a household name is beyond me but the trappings of
    fame and celebrity are not his calling. He is a true artist challenging the
    complexities of life and trying to find meaning through his exceptionally gifted
    talent and his wondrous music.

    Vance wastes no time in executing his manic mastery even on his first
    offering of the night. He builds his opening gambit with aplomb until he's
    literally trying to saw his guitar in two with a violin bow, which I've not
    witnessed since Jimmy Page! The audience are enraptured by this guy, and
    bill and coo accordingly.

    'Be With Me' with its devastatingly simple yet ultra heavy riff brings our boy
    down to more rawer, baser urges. FV is not beyond getting jiggy with it as this
    gem denotes. Leaving the looping behind 'Treading Water' demonstrates
    Foy's guitar skills, which have a beautifully suspended sound, enhanced by an
    absolutely fresh chord structure, so sweet to the ear. His princely song writing
    seems to know no bounds, not at all narrow or circumscribed, a true
    troubadour with a free spirit. There's a nod to Jeff Buckley in this particular
    one as his voice can really get up in the that sort of angelic register, few
    singers can dream of.

    He then shows his soft and delicate side with a hypnotic droning tune and his
    accapella version of 'Will Ye Go Lassie Go' lifts the church like only a son of a
    preacher man could do (No, not the Dusty track), and 'Shed A Little Light' with
    It's 3 chords and the truth vibe shows us he can rock with the best of them.

    And talking about rocking with the best of them 'Peace Hope And Love'
    reminds me of a riff Peter Green would be proud of. The unholy noise he gets
    out of his poor guitar defies description (Eno would love this and Michael
    Brooke, never mind Daniel Lanois!)

    His story telling is acute and 'Gabriel And The Vagabond' shows this
    admirably. His soothing Irish lilt keeps his reverential audience spellbound
    and his interpretation of 'Billie Jean' does like wise, ending up in a looped up
    vortex of MJ yelps that I couldn't help bursting out with laughter too. There's a
    wryness and wicked sense of humour lurking underneath that's for sure!

    I could go on but suffice to say this guy is pretty godamn special (even a
    couple proposed in the bar afterwards, touched by his music) but I want to
    leave room for you to check out his marvellous miniatures, his uncanny
    intimacy knows no bounds, this is the sound of inescapable retreat. Bravo!

    Words Emrys Baird
    From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

    Artists
    FOY VANCE – 2011 | | Some hail him as the new Van Morrison...


    Type Band, Official
    Hashtag #sxsw #FoyVance
    Tags All, Singer-Songwriter
    Website http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_MS18406

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