As Andrew Hozier-Byrne walks on stage at The Barrowlands, all 6’6″ of him oozes with the presence of a star that has recently won an Ivor Novello award and not long ago performed on stage with the mighty Annie Lennox at the Grammys. The self-confessed shy lad from Ireland hasn’t done too shabby.
From my position on the Photographer’s Pit, I’m pleasantly deafened by Hozier’s soulful voice opening with ‘Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene’ in one ear, and hordes of screaming fans in the other. Hozier’s voice is known to be exceptional, and the way his powerful vocal chords deliver his studio recorded album onto a live performance is sublime. Maybe it’s all down to the steaming cup of green tea he has attached to his microphone. Not exactly, rock and roll, but hey… it seems to work.
Complemented by a superb sound system and an impressive lighting display, Hozier and his freakishly talented band proceed to take the enthusiastic Glaswegian crowd on an eclectic journey through his self-titled album. One minute the crowd are in euphoria jumping around to ‘Jackie & Wilson’, the next they are gently swaying to ‘In A Week’: a dark lullaby duet with his celloist, Alana Henderson. Its seems as though all the band are multi-talented; in the shadows of the stage, Alex Ryan calmly plays bass, synthe and also sings… sometimes all at the same time.
After an encore consisting of everyone’s favourite UK Number 2 hit, Take Me To Church, it’s ironically the sound technician that gets the biggest cheer of the night as Hozier introduces his crew. Being the gent that he is, I am lucky enough to speak to the big man himself after the gig as he meets some of his dedicated and adoring fans, and he claims that the Weigy crowd always have a soft spot for the sound guy when they tour here. He isn’t quite sure why, but says it’s much appreciated.
This is the 3rd time that I’ve seen Hozier and he just keeps getting better and better. He’s currently touring the US before heading back to the UK in August, so if you’re lucky enough to be in the same city as the Irish phenomena, then I recommend you snap up a ticket as soon as you can.
For more information on Hozier and new concert dates please visit: http://hozier.com
Photographs by John Harfield