The Albert Hall is fast becoming an icon in Manchester. The surroundings are just stunning, I can’t believe this beautiful building was hidden and unused for nearly 40 years. The master minds of Trof (the people behind Gorilla & The Deaf Institute) have created the perfect venue. Every band I’ve seen play here have applauded its beauty. Hozier himself commented on the beautiful building but cheekily thanked the air conditioning for ‘maintaining a constant G note’ throughout his performance.

Karen Cowley, Saorise Duane & Caoimhe Barry make up Wyvern Lingo, the support band for Hozier. With hard hitting lyrics and powerful voices, this trio of Irish singers make an instant impact on the crowd.

Due to the Albert Hall being made up of glass a ceiling and the fact that it is, well supposed to be summer outside, the room is filled with light which creates a festival feeling, and this could have gone against the band, but instead the trio welcomes the fresh light and compliments the beautiful venue. The crowd so far are motionless, but what’s new there? Am I ever going to go to a gig that is crazy from the first minute?

The first song finishes,  everyone applauds and begins to loosen up. The band seems a little nervous talking between songs and explains that it is not only their first time playing in Manchester, but it’s their first time in Manchester itself! The band is relatively new and have one EP out, their nervousness does not come across in their songs at all. And whilst watching them I reminisce about R&B songs that I loved when I was younger. This band are a joy to watch, I would certainly buy a ticket to see their full show in future as I feel this was only a taster, a little over half an hour for a support band is too short.

The room in now filled and waiting for Hozier to arrive. I must add I have never been to a gig where both acts are bang on time. I appreciate that, it demonstrates an anti-rock ‘n’ roll attitude.

Hozier opens with my favourite song from his self titled album, ‘Angel Of Small Death & the Codeine Scene’ a perfect song to open the gig with. Voices from his back up singers accompany him, clapping starts and the crowd joins in. I don’t know why but when a crowd starts clapping it makes  me feel surrounded by enthusiasts.  And boy is that an understatement, Hozier has some of the most loyal fans around. You only have to post a picture of Hozier on your Instagram with a #Hozier to see how many die hard fans he has. The guy could have moved to a bigger arena and would still sell out. I would possibly class myself as a fan as in the last month I’ve had his album on constantly and I’m still  trying to hook my boyfriend onto it at every opportunity. ” Do you like Hozier yet?” is a question I’m asking every day. This is the effect Hozier has on his fans and with only one album out so far, there’s no end in sight for this guy.



‘Jackie & Wilson’ is one of the next few songs and in case anyone in the crowd was still wondering what influences Hozier, this song answers it. The blues! It’s quite refreshing to see a young artist so heavily influenced by a genre that is often over looked by many these days. When todays charts are being ruled by auto tune and weird country techno dance acts, no wonder we welcomed Hozier with open arms. His global hit  ‘Take Me to Church’ smashed records and catapulted the star into the limelight. America, known for its blues background have taken him in no questions asked. His performance at the Grammys, with Annie Lennox secured his place there. I’ll come back to that hit though, we’re not there just yet.

Next up is ‘Someone New’ Hozier’s newest single, a song that has been stuck in my head since it’s release and yes I’ve been known to sing it on the Manchester streets after a few too many vino’s. Hozier sings this song note perfect, in fact he’s one of the few people that can pull off making a live song sound exactly like the studio version.  This guy is perfect, his band sing and play alongside him with such respect. This is all going swimmingly and I’m thinking how great this gig is until… ‘In a Week’ a duet with Cowley (a member of the support band Wyvern Lingo) starts to play and it changes everything. The band disappear and the rowdy room calm down, Cowley joins Hozier and he explains that this is not his own song but in fact one written by Cowley. Its a song about lovers and ”what lovers do best” for some reason when he explains that the song is about two lovers lying in a fields and not needing anything in the world, I think of the field scene in Twilight. Am I that sad? Anyway I do and I have the vision planted firmly in my head, a few guitar notes play and Hozier’s voice softly fills the room, then Cowley adds her voice to the song. The men beside me turn to me and look amazed. I’m amazed! The room is now silent and are taking in the perfect moment.

These 5 minutes secure this gig as one of the best I’ve been to. I don’t even need ‘Take Me To Church’  to come on, in fact I’ve forgotten all about that song.  After this Hozier plays ‘Illinois Blues’, a Skip James cover and it brings the crowd back to life. A few more songs play out perfectly and then after a pause we all know what’s coming next… yes it’s the song everyone was waiting for.

‘Take Me To Church’ I will admit was a song that took me a while to get into, when everyone else was raving about it I didn’t get, but once I did, I really did. The set gives me and pretty much everyone around me goosebumps! Nobody is dissappointed and I would pay good money to recreate that entire moment. The song hits home for a lot of his fans, it’s a song he penned at his frustration at the Catholic Church and it’s stance on sexual orientation.

Encores are strange aren’t they? We all know they’re coming back so why a lot of the crowd makes a break for it I don’t know.

I’m glad I stayed, ‘1 thing’ an Amerie cover, yes, an Amerie cover starts. This is a song I listened to as a young teenage girl dancing in my bedroom and he covers it pefectly. That’s it he’s done it. I have Hosieritis (google it it actually exists).

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Studying BA (Hons) Design Futures at The University Of Salford hoping to move onto an MA in Social Media. In love with Manchester's music scene, i will never move!Best Gig - Massive Attack @ The Big Chill Festival 2010Best Album - Damien Rice 'O'Guilty Pleasure - B52's 'Love Shack' (Don't judge)