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Foy Vance / November and December 2016 UK/Irish Tour

By on Wednesday, 4th May 2016 at 9:00 am

Header photo by Sarah Barlow and Stephen Schofield

Northern Irish troubadour extraordinaire Foy Vance has announced a string of late autumn live dates in the UK and Ireland, in support of his upcoming new album ‘The Wild Swan’. The album is due out on the 13th of May via Ed Sheeran‘s record label Gingerbread Man Records, and editor Mary recently featured the album’s lead promo for ‘She Burns’ as our Video of the Moment #2071.

Vance will play an already sold out show at London’s Hoxton Hall on the 12th of May, ahead of June tour dates in Europe supporting Elton John. Following his summer festival appearances, which will include Latitude 2016 in July, Vance will hit North America for a list of dates supporting Josh Groban and Sarah McLachlan. He’ll spend the early part of September touring Australia with Kyle Lionhart before returning to America for headline dates running through the end of October. You can find a complete (and lengthy) listing of Foy Vance’s live shows on his official Facebook.

Tickets for the following UK and Irish dates will be available this Friday, the 6th of May, at 10 AM.

Monday 7th November 2016 – Bristol Fleece
Tuesday 8th November 2016 – Nottingham Bodega
Wednesday 9th November 2016 – Newcastle Cluny
Friday 11th November 2016 – Glasgow Oran Mor
Saturday 12th November 2016 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Sunday 13th November 2016 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Tuesday 15th November 2016 – Norwich Arts Centre
Wednesday 16th November 2016 – Southsea Wedgewood Rooms
Friday 18th November 2016 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Thursday 8th December 2016 – Dublin Academy
Friday 9th December 2016 – Galway Roisin Dubh
Saturday 10th December 2016 – Belfast Ulster Hall


Video of the Moment #2071: Foy Vance

By on Wednesday, 27th April 2016 at 6:00 pm

Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance will be releasing a new album on the 13th of May. ‘The Wild Swan’ will be his debut LP with buddy Ed Sheeran‘s Gingerbread Man Records, and only the label’s second. Sheeran has surely brought in the heavy hitters: Elton John acted as executive producer on the new album, and it was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, under the eyes and ears of Grammy winner Jacquire King, who produced and mixed ‘The Wild Swan’.

Today, Vance is unveiling the promo video for the album’s lead track. ‘She Burns’ was shot on location in Los Angeles in black and white and stars Pretty Little Liars’ actress Lucy Hale. The slow tempoed, contemplative nature of the track pairs well with the minimalist yet personal treatment in the promo, as you’ll see below. This promo video follows on from a live video Vance shared in December, presumably during the recording of the album at Blackbird Studios. Stay tuned for our coverage of Vance’s ‘The Wild Swan’ in the coming weeks. To read more on Foy Vance on TGTF, head here.



Live Gig Video: Foy Vance performs an acoustic version of ‘She Burns’

By on Wednesday, 2nd December 2015 at 4:00 pm

Mustachioed Northern Irish songsmith Foy Vance has just unveiled a live acoustic video for his smouldering new track ‘She Burns’. Recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville with producer Jacquire King (James Bay, Of Monsters and Men), the song is slated to appear on Vance’s highly anticipated next album, which is due out early next year. Vance has recently signed to pop superstar Ed Sheeran‘s label Gingerbread Man Records, which launched back in August with the signing of singer/songwriter Jamie Lawson.

Vance and Sheeran are longtime friends and collaborators, having toured together back in 2013 as well as contributing to each other’s recent studio work, Vance supplying vocals and songwriting assistance on Sheeran’s Grammy-nominated album ‘X’ and Sheeran appearing on Vance’s previous album ‘Joy of Nothing’. Vance previews his follow-up to that album with the video for ‘She Burns’, which he also performed live on his most recent tour of America.

The acoustic version of ‘She Burns’ featured in the video below is a slow-burning ode to the feminine mystique, presented here in a bare arrangement for two voices and guitar. Though this rendition of the song is far more restrained than what I might have expected from Vance, he still bares his very soul in the vocal delivery, especially the chorus lyric “I’m burning, I’m burning so deeply just breathing hurts.’


If you like what you hear in the video, you can download the acoustic version of ‘She Burns’ on Foy Vance’s official Web site, in exchange for adding your e-mail address to his mailing list. While you’re on Vance’s Web site, you can also find a list of live dates and ticket information for Vance’s current Australian tour, where he is opening for Ed Sheeran and Elton John. TGTF’s full archive of coverage on Foy Vance can be found right back here.


Live Review: Foy Vance with Ryan McMullan at Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ, 24th June 2015

By on Wednesday, 1st July 2015 at 2:00 pm

Last Wednesday night found me once again westbound on Interstate 10 to Phoenix, this time to see Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance at the downtown Valley Bar. I was headed to a new venue, but the road was familiar and so was the headline artist, whom I’d seen twice before, once in the cozy Washington DC area venue Jammin’ Java and once in a rather uncomfortable stadium-sized atmosphere in Atlanta, where he opened for Ed Sheeran.  Vance spent May and early June this year again gracing American stages with the ginger-haired pop phenom, parting company with his friend and colleague to headline a handful of dates across the southern half of the U.S. before heading back across the pond. Phoenix was fortunate enough to host one of these more intimate shows, with Vance accompanied by fellow Northern Irish singer Ryan McMullan.


McMullan’s Ulster accent was immediately apparent as he introduced himself to the small Valley Bar crowd, but over the course of his set, we were regaled with songs of a decidedly American inclination. He engaged us immediately with opening track ‘Listen’ from his soulful blues rock-flavoured EP of the same title. McMullan interspersed the four tracks from that EP with his appealing debut single ‘Mary’, a peppy cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ and a rather quaint traditional American Creole song called ‘The Lakes of Pontchartrain’, most famously recorded by Northern Irish traditional folk musician Paul Brady.  In the fashion of a more seasoned performer, McMullan saved his most impressive moment for last, giving a scorching performance of ‘Holding Me Down’, which in live performance smashed through the relative restraint of the studio version below.


And then, after a brief interlude, the Valley Bar congregation were ready to receive the gospel according to Foy Vance. Taking his position behind the pulpit, er, piano, Vance quickly made himself comfortable and began not to sing but instead to speak. Before diving headlong into a set of new songs, Vance asked us to keep our phones and cameras put away, both so that we could enjoy being in the present moment with him and to avoid having “shit versions” of the new songs going up on YouTube before they could be properly recorded and released. I cringed internally, because this request always strikes me as overly precious, no matter how many times I hear it.

However, on this particular night, in this particular setting, Vance genuinely practised what he preached, quite literally losing himself in a seamless sequence of five opening tracks, including four new songs and the already popular anthem ‘Closed Hand, Full of Friends’. Among the new songs were a gorgeous ode to the city of London and a blistering blues guitar number played later in the show, both of which have enormous potential for a possible future studio recording.

Foy bow

Speaking of the guitar, Vance switched instruments and gears for the second half of the show, picking up the pace with a few familiar tunes from his 2013 album ‘Joy of Nothing’, as well as recent hit ‘Make It Rain’ and a track from his 2007 LP ‘Hope’ called ‘Doesn’t Take a Whole Day’, which turned out to be among the more charming moments in the set. Not content with his own array of songs, Vance also burned through a mind-boggling run of covers late in the show, including Van Morrison’s ‘Crazy Love’, Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and a version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ that can be best described as orgasmic. While Vance’s younger Ed Sheeran-influenced fans might have lost interest at this point in the show, for those of us who recognized the original songs, Vance’s display of musical prowess here was nothing short of spectacular.

Rather than insisting on a proper encore, Vance took only a brief moment off stage before declaring to eager applause, “I want to keep playing, shall we just get on with it?” As the clock approached midnight, Vance wrapped up the evening with ‘At Least My Heart Was Open’ and the by now customary singalong ‘Guiding Light’, which saw McMullan reappear for a brief cameo before the flock of Foy Vance faithful reluctantly called it a night.

Guiding Light

Foy Vance will play the Barn on the Farm Festival in Gloucester on the 4th of July and Ireland’s Indiependence Music Festival in Cork on the 2nd of August. He will support Ed Sheeran at Wembley Stadium on the 10th of July as well as joining Sheeran’s Australian tour in November and December. While in Australia, Vance will also play a support slot for Elton John in Brisbane on the 8th of December. You can find a complete list of live dates and ticket information on Vance’s official Web site.

Previous TGTF coverage of Foy Vance can be found right back here.


Album Review: Foy Vance – Feel for Me EP

By on Tuesday, 30th September 2014 at 12:00 pm

Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance’s latest EP release, ‘Feel for Me’, was timed to coincide with his appearance at the iTunes Festival on Monday the 29th of September, where he played support for his friend and musical collaborator Ed Sheeran. Vance contributed backing vocals and songwriting assistance to Sheeran’s recent album ‘X’, and Sheeran appeared on Vance’s 2013 album ‘Joy of Nothing’, from which the track ‘Feel for Me’ is taken. Sheeran says of Vance, “Every time I see Foy play, I get annoyed more people don’t know about him…inspiration just comes being in a room and guitar-jamming with him, songs just come out”.

Unfortunately, despite Sheeran’s ardent support, Vance’s new EP seems somewhat uninspired. It begins with radio edits of album tracks ‘Feel for Me’ and ‘Guiding Light’, neither of which is radically different from the previous recordings. The eponymous opening track on the EP has a fuller, warmer acoustic sound that feels much more natural for Vance than the slightly sterile production of its album counterpart. While I enjoyed the subtle changes to ‘Feel for Me’, I was a bit perplexed by ‘Guiding Light’. Often presented as Vance’s curtain call in live performance, the song is offered here without the cameo vocal appearance provided by Sheeran both on tour and on the full ‘Joy of Nothing’ LP. I can’t quite shake the odd feeling that the solo version presented on the EP would have worked better on the full album, and vice versa. The novelty of Sheeran’s duet felt a bit like a publicity stunt on ‘Joy of Nothing’ but would have fit perfectly onto this EP collection of edits and B-sides.

The EP also includes a live acoustic version of the album’s title track, ‘Joy of Nothing’, recorded live in session with BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris. This is a very subdued rendering of what was an uplifting track on the album, but the stripped back dynamic does get more at the heart of what the song is about, simplicity and appreciation of the little things in life. Vance’s singing is soft and raspy, even more rough around the edges than usual, and his improvisatory vocal at the end of the song is one of the EP’s redeeming moments.

The EP’s final track ‘Dark Horse’ is an unreleased B-side from ‘Joy of Nothing’, given away last summer as a free download via NoiseTrade leading into the album release. The deceptively simple, purely sentimental chorus “hold me close and hold me strong / hold me pure and hold me long / hold me dark and hold me light / hold me wrong, hold me right” seems tailor-made for the emotionality of live sing-alongs, but the production here is austere, highlighting instead the soulful sincerity of Vance’s vocal delivery.

The ‘Feel For Me’ EP is a bit of an awkward supplement to the full ‘Joy of Nothing’ LP. Enthusiastic Foy Vance fans will be nonplussed, if not bored to tears, by the first two tracks, while new listeners might find their interest piqued by the radio single ‘Feel for Me’. The final two tracks are less exciting for new ears but might compel longtime fans to keep listening. Vance may be hedging his bets, but we can hope that it’s in careful preparation for the release of something new in the near future.


The ‘Feel For Me’ EP from Foy Vance is out now on Glassnote Records.


Live Review: Foy Vance with Rams’ Pocket Radio at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – 9th November 2013

By on Monday, 18th November 2013 at 2:00 pm

Photos by Cheryl Demas

Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of seeing Northern Irish soul singer Foy Vance play Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. However, those of you in the UK and Ireland will be soon be treated to the same pleasure, as Vance begins touring his new album ‘Joy of Nothing’ on your side of the pond.

The Jammin’ Java show was the final gig of the North American leg of Vance’s tour, and the Saturday night audience had the room filled to capacity. True, it’s a small venue, but its intimate size and acoustics are perfect for Vance’s soulful solo style, as opposed to the Tabernacle in Atlanta, where I last saw him open for Ed Sheeran in January. Perhaps it wasn’t the venue that seemed to dwarf Vance on that night, but the other acts on the bill, hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks and the aforementioned ginger headliner. As the main act on the bill at Jammin’ Java, Vance was much more confident and relaxed; he appeared right at home on the small, sparsely equipped stage.

As Vance gained popularity in America on the strength of his opening act for Sheeran, it follows that his new fans would pay special attention to his choice of guests on his own headline tour. In this case, the opening act couldn’t have been more stylistically different from Vance. Fellow Northern Irish musician Peter McCauley, who uses the stage name Rams’ Pocket Radio, makes the kind of electronic synth-driven music that brings to mind old TV episodes of ‘Friends’ with Ross on his tiny Casio keyboard. That’s, of course, if you aren’t familiar with Rams’ Pocket Radio, and I was not.

Rams Pocket Radio Vienna

Once he started playing, I found very quickly that I had made a mistake in not taking a listen to him sooner. His clear, evenly measured melodies and pleasantly modulated singing voice allowed his intriguingly erudite lyrics to capture my attention. (I probably shouldn’t mention the fact that I had to consult a dictionary while reading through the liner notes of his album, ‘Béton’, which I was impressed enough to purchase from the merch table.) His music falls squarely into the dreaded ‘progressive’ category, but I found it to be surprisingly listenable, despite its purposefully streamlined, deliberately minimal aesthetic, partly inspired by the Functionalist industrial designs of Dieter Rams. While most of the songs on Rams’ Pocket Radio’s setlist were accompanied by synthesized drums, Vance came on stage and took drum kit himself at one point, making a minor cameo before his own set began.

When Vance did begin his own set, it was McCauley on the drum kit and Conor McCreanor on bass providing the rhythm section. In contrast to the taut precision of Rams’ Pocket Radio, Vance appeared mellow and relaxed from the outset. He opened with ‘Be the Song’ from 2012 EP ‘Melrose’, but from that point forward focused almost exclusively on songs from ‘Joy of Nothing’, which recently won the inaugural Northern Ireland Music Prize. Eight of the 10 songs on that album appeared on the set list this night, and the audience were clearly familiar with them, especially ‘Janey’ and the anthemic ‘Closed Hand, Full of Friends’.

Foy Vance Vienna

Vance’s relaxed mood quickly carried over to his audience. We were quiet with anticipation at the beginning of the show, but his banter and storytelling ability, no doubt the product of growing up as the son of a preacher, soon warmed our hearts and won our rapt attention. Just over halfway through the set, he made the first of several seamless deviations from his original set list, introducing a new song about his current girlfriend, whom he affectionately described as ‘a keeper’. We obliged his request to keep our cameras in our pockets to avoid having the song appear prematurely on YouTube, but this is definitely a tune to keep your ears open for. Perhaps also owing to the easygoing nature of this final gig, Vance accepted a cheeky request from the front row for an old favorite tune, the poignant masterpiece ‘Indiscriminate Act of Kindness’. He closed the set proper with ‘I Got Love’, a simple, soulful tune with an extended suspension in the bridge that left us literally begging for an encore.

At this point, it has become accepted practice for Vance to finish his shows with the well-known ‘Guiding Light’, which is also the final track on ‘Joy of Nothing’. The song is more of an ‘au revoir’ than a final good-bye, and we wistfully joined in singing the chorus at the end, knowing that our evening was well and truly drawing to a close. In the style of a master performer, Foy Vance left us with warmed hearts and smiling faces, but also with the hope of seeing him perform again in the future.

Catch Vance on his current UK and Irish tour; all the dates are here.

Foy Vance set list Vienna


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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