At the beginning of this month, my friend Liddy and I went to see Hozier, something we’d booked ages ago and had been looking forward to ever since. We made an evening of it and got dinner and drinks at The Sindercombe Social (literally about 100 yards from the venue) before heading to Shepherd’s Bush O2 Empire for the gig.
We both order the smoked bacon, avocado and blue cheese burger, which was delicious. The bacon was a bit undercooked for both of us – we like it crispy – but the rest of the burger, and especially the blue cheese sauce, was amazing. Served in a brioche bun with a side of fries, this was a satisfying and filling meal for both of us. I was just the right amount of full when we left.
The crowd was already buzzing when we got there. It’s hard to believe that undeniably talented Hozier can still be so humble when faced with over one thousand adoring fans packed into an arena. During the show, kindness and gratitude emanated from every word he said in the short interludes between countless flawless numbers.
A few hummed bars of Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene opened the show and the crowd exploded. Hozier’s soulful entrance was well received as he faultlessly continued with the rest of the song.
A light show accompanied many of the upbeat blues-vibe tracks, including the more well-known Take Me to Church and – my personal favourite – Jackie and Wilson.
During one his most sombre songs, In a Week, the lights simply shone on Hozier and Karen Cowley (from supporting act Wyvern Lingo and a member of Hozier’s band), as they mesmerised the audience with this heart-wrenching track about two deceased lovers.
Once his set had finished and Hozier had thanked the arena, every member of his band and the crew, he left the stage only to return a minute later after relentless hopeful screaming to perform an encore. Alone on stage again, Hozier played Cherry Wine from his first album beautifully. He then welcomed back his band and played the less well known Run. Finally, introducing the next track as something they “don’t play very often but like to have fun with”, the band began to play a charming and unexpected blues rendition of Amerie’s 1 Thing much to the audience’s delight.
Hozier’s remarkable ability to capture an audience existed on stage just as well and infinitely more prominently than it does through our speakers. I cannot get enough of this truly overwhelming artist and since he announced that he’ll be back on tour in June, I don’t suppose I’ll have to.