Gig review: Hozier @ Manchester Albert Hall

Hozier filled Manchester’s Albert Hall with his soulful melodies and smooth melancholy performance on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Albert Hall is grand enough to do justice to Hozier’s sound but small enough that his songs retain the intimacy that has made his first two singles hits.

The all female trio, Wyvern Lingo, played out the daylight with their own echoes of Hozier, unfortunately their instruments drowned out their vocals preventing the audience from enjoying their obviously tuneful voices.

As the twilight descended, Hozier took to the stage to officially open the night with Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene before segueing beautifully into From Eden with the first of many guitar changes.

Slow-burner Jackie and Wilson saw Hozier become visibly pumped for the first time of the night bouncing off the audience and the stage.

Having suitably riled his crowd, the Irish singer-songwriter took a quick moment to introduce his second single.

He introduced Someone New (co-written with an ex-girlfriend) as: “A song about love at its most empty and vacuous and doomed.”

To which about a third of the audience filmed the song on their various smart phones.

Following a rapturous applause for Someone New Hozier praised the splendid Albert Hall: “Isn’t this a beautiful venue? This is gorgeous! Thank you Manchester for this fantastic venue.”

To Be Alone saw Hozier really melt into his music, shrugging off his own anxieties before letting lose with I Will Come Back.

A song he described as: “Asking someone to do the right thing, to cut all the ropes and let you go.”

There was a musical interlude where the Bray born singer played his dark and sorrowful In a Week with just his favourite guitar and vocals from cellist Alana Henderson.

The 25-year-old musician really seemed to hit his stride with Arsonist’s Lullaby, the heaviest song of the night, sung in cool white and red lighting.

Hozier finished his set on a high with his enormous hit Take Me To Church.

Leaving the crowd baying for an encore he relented rounding off the night with ‘another few songs, maybe?’

The lesser known, Cherry Wine, performed amid a hushed reverie accompanied only by his guitar, followed by the ‘fun’ cover of Amerie’s One Thing.

Finally, Hozier relieved himself of his trademark manbun, becoming instantly 60% hotter (according to MM’s notes) and ending the night with Work Song.

Hozier is fresh from the Ivor Novello awards on Thursday where his beautiful Take Me To Church won Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

He also had success last Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards winning both Top Rock Song (Take Me To Church) and Top Rock Artist where he beat out the established might of Bastille, Coldplay, Lorde and Fall Out Boy.

Not only is Hozier hauling three awards round with him, he also found time to stop off in Ireland to vote ‘yes’ in their historic referendum on same-sex marriage.

The chart topping hit maker also performed at a small charity gig last night in London for Global’s Make Some Noise.

Julie Page, GB international basketball player, who was at the Manchester show described it as a ‘fantastic gig, amazing atmosphere, perfect venue’.

Hozier’s debut Album Take Me To Church got traction when the video for the title track went viral online with its direct attack at Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws. 

Image courtesy of Brandon T Lynch, with thanks.

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