Hozier, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review with pictures
Hozier thrilled the crowd in Birmingham at his sell-out show last night - one stop on his biggest tour in four years.
The spirited singer-songwriter put on a lively performance at the O2 Academy which featured new material, merging intimate ballads under a spotlight and more dynamic indie rock songs in one show.
It was brimming with passion and provided an insight into the song-writing process as he released his new E.P. earlier this year which shares the name of the tour, Nina Cried Power.
It follows on from his debut album from 2014, which features his breakthrough hit the Ivor Novello-winning anthem Take Me To Church.
The recognisable plucks of guitar chords at the start of the first song of the night, Like Real People Do, left the audience screaming with excitement before singing their hearts out.
Adoring fans lined up around the block and packed the intimate venue to see the Irishman, who was supported by a string of musicians and back-up vocals.
Starting the show, the singer said: “It is a pleasure to see you. Does everyone feel good? I have been very much looking forward to being here and it is a real joy to be back.”
He performed fan favourites including Jackie and Wilson, Cherry Wine and Take me to Church.
Plus he performed new material including Shrike and Movement, which was released last month (November), and treated fans to a special cover of Say My Name, originally sung by Destiny’s Child.
The long haired 28-year-old, whose name is Andrew Hozier-Byrne, admitted he is coming down with a cold because of the colder weather.
But his voice was still mesmerising, flowing effortlessly to varied pitches and full of emotion to drive the politically inspired message in his songs.
He has been writing songs since he was 16 and was named VHI Artist of the Year, and created single Better Love as part of the Legend of Tarzan soundtrack.
At one point, he enticed the audience into a singing exercise using the start of To Be Alone and liked what he heard.
He said: “If you don't mind Birmingham I want to test your ability to make noise. Structured noise.
“It is that time of year when I am catching a cold by the way. Repeat after me.
“That is the strongest we have heard it. You do have very nice voice.”
He later added: “You guys have been an amazing audience.”