Andrew Hozier-Byrne, more commonly known as ‘Hozier’ quickly made a name for himself with the 2014 anti-religious hit ‘Take Me To Church’, unbeknownst to him, this soul inspired chart topper would leave me standing in the fourth row of his packed out concert at Birmingham’s O2 Academy.
Before the man of the hour turned up to entertain us, we were introduced to a small town Irish band called Wyvern Lingo. This three-piece girl band were incredible, playing all four of their EP tracks, they had me and many others dancing to the infectious beats and angelic vocals. ‘Subside’ being a favourite of mine and the slow dancing melody of ‘Beast at the door’ that would seem fitting for an episode of NBC’s Hannibal.
After this, Hozier, who once referred to himself as a “gangly introvert”, was ready to take to the stage, humbly stepping up to the mic to the sound of a roaring crowd. With his trademark locks and soulful voice he threw out hit after hit with songs such as ‘From Eden’ and ‘Like Real People Do’, I think it’s fair to say he performed the whole album with an upbeat enthusiasm and a romantic effervescence.
Some of the romantic, poetic songs that were inspired by the fields of County Wicklow such as ‘To Be Alone’ amongst others were the real gems of the show, leaving a light, airy feel to the audience. As my friend and I swayed to the music, we were no longer in the O2 Academy but a dandelion covered field in the sun.
An hour into his set and Hozier storms through ‘Take Me To Church’, most if not all singing the lyrics back to him. After he humbly thanked the band and all the crew that were a part of this night, he left the stage. After what seemed like a short set he returned to the roars and screams of a crowd desperately chanting more. He performed gorgeous guitar driven songs such as ‘Cherry Wine’ and the most influential of them all, ‘Work Song’. As he sings the lyrical genius that is “no grave can hold my body down”, I left the gig pleasantly surprised and eagerly awaiting news on his second album.