Foy Vance at Cyprus Avenue
October 18, 2006
On my way into Cyprus Avenue on Sunday night for this gig, I spotted Foy Vance walking along Maylor Street as I was taking some photographs. At the time I didn’t know it was him but I had my suspicions as not many people in Cork would wear a “Miami Vice style” shiny white jacket and a cap like his. It was obviously time to head to the gig and as we neared Cyprus Avenue, I heard him exhale sharply as were both treated to one of Cork’s finest relieving himself. Welcome to Cork, Foy!
As soon as he was on stage, the crowd knew we were in for a treat as he started with a track where he recorded different loops which all came together in perfect harmony and timing. This was not my first time hearing his music, I heard his version of Billie Jean on the radio the week before but as ever, I didn’t remember the name of the artist. Thank you to RedFM for the tickets by the way.
This was without doubt one of my favourite gigs in a while as I had no preconceptions of what to expect. The last gig I remember enjoying as much as this was Tom McRae in the Lobby a few years ago.
Foy talks a lot between songs, with good-natured stories of gigs and the origins of songs. Some serious name-dropping was done when he told us of how he was singing on a stage in New York with Martha Wainwright on one side and Pete Townshend on the other, but at least he unashamedly admitted it! There was a further purpose to the story as it was at this time that he wrote the next song played, Pull Me Through, in the toilet! His debut EP also contains a song called The Toilet Song. It must be an inspirational place.
Joanne Vance appeared on stage for much of the night, her voice sweetly harmonising with Foy’s and the pianist (whose name escapes me).
The music wasn’t all sweet and happy with one of my favourite songs of the night being the bluesy Shotgun Jesus. They played a version of High and Dry by Radiohead which was absolutely fantastic. Foy must have recorded at least 20 loops between voice, guitar and beat loops which all made up the sound of this classic track. This wasn’t the only cover version he did although he needed to read the lyrics of AC/DC’s Back in Black! Like he said himself, this may have been the first time we’ve seen him as it was his first time in Cork but he likes to mix up his gigs as he sees himself all the time.
Another cover he did was of a song which is not so familiar called First of July by Jules. I can’t find any information on this artist so if you have any idea who he or she is please leave a comment. I agree with Foy, he has unearthed a gem with this song.
The band took a break “deciding” whether to go back on for an encore or not. This was probably the first time I’ve seen a standing ovation in Cyprus Avenue which prompted them to get back on stage. Admittedly the crowd is usually standing already in Cyprus Avenue but obviously others felt like I did.
Some more pictures from the night.
See the full set of pictures.