Review: Hozier, O2 Academy

Hozier performing at the O2 Academy in Sheffield, United Kingdom on 11 January 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Hozier performing at the O2 Academy in Sheffield, United Kingdom on 11 January 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

The Irish singer-songwriter, who had a smash hit last year with Take Me To Church, said he had been warned about Sheffield in a good way ahead of his first visit.

He was visibly overwhelmed by the reception from a sell-out audience who were loudly word perfect.

He responded with a fantastic performance despite confessing to having a painful back injury. We were warned not to be surprised if he started making noises like a goose being slaughtered.

All the noises on stage were anything but alarming in the event.

Hozier is easy-going and assured and his gentle humour charmed his audience.

Right from opening number Like Real People Do to the storming conclusion in Take Me To Church, the place was captivated by great song after great song from his self-titled debut album.

He changed the mood from sultry on Sedated to gentle on a solo version of Cherry Wine in the encore.

A cover of The Beatles’ Blackbird was clever and funky with a lovely solo by cellist Alana Henderson.

He was joined for duet In a Week by Karen Cowley, whose band Wyvern Lingo were the support act.

The gig took place on the day that David Bowie died and Hozier paid tribute to his genius. Sadly he didn’t perform his cover of Changes but instead left the stage as Heroes played, with pictures of Bowie on giant screens.

* Julia Armstrong