Archive for the gigs Category

Foy Vance…

Posted in christianity, Foy Vance, gigs, U2 on August 31, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

There are few things that can move me to tears these days… I don’t know why that is, maybe it’s just a part of ‘growing up’… But there are a few things in this world that do still cause that well of emotion inside of me… I experienced one of them tonight…

Foy played in the Black Box tonight, as he had done the previous two nights, and will do again tomorrow night. After a slight change of plans, the troop that headed down was myself, dougie, katy and jen, and we were accompanied by simon and ross… Being quite far up the queue, we got incredible seats, right by the stage pretty much…
The support act was a guy called Ken Haddock – very talented guy, quite a similar style to Foy (they’re good friends too…)… He gave a very good performance, and amusingly called Foy and his troop out to support him in a couple of his songs – they were spectacular!

So, after a short intermission (long enough to buy another round of drinks) Foy, Joanne and Jules came to the stage. What followed was simply incredible… Yes, I may be biased, seeing as he is my favourite artist, but I firmly hold to the belief that no-one throws a gig quite like Foy – and I also hold firm to the statements I made in a recent post about being at a gig of Foys is like encountering God in a very unique way (I am in no way deifying Foy, merely commenting on his songs and performance – enabling an encounter with the divine).
I’m not going to give a rundown of the setlist here, nor give a report of the gig – all I will do is highlight a few points that particularly stood out. Enough people will write a report soon enough.

Foy’s banter with the crowd is always a bonus – he is so at home with his ‘home crowd’. So much so, we had a sing-song near-on the end of the gig. This is a moment that moved me to tears (well, watery-eyes…)… Foy suggested we have a sing-song, and began playing guitar and singing without amplification (no mics or amps), and before I knew it, I was singing along with the whole room to I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For… it was a beautiful moment, hearing the whole room sing together to a calm acoustic version of the U2 classic. When we reached the lines ‘You broke the bonds and You loosed the chains, carried the cross of my shame, of my shame… You know I believe it’ I couldn’t help but feel emotional – I can’t describe how special that moment felt…
The second emotional moment occured during the penultimate song, Come On Up To The House – we were all on our feet, stamping and clapping away as Foy belted out the old gospel style classic – God was there as we sang along… maybe not everyone felt it, but I did…

I’m still quite in awe of the whole thing…

working on it…

Posted in christianity, Foy Vance, gigs, U2 on August 29, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

Still organising my thoughts into a coherent pattern (with further backup from todays events), I decided NOT to do a soapbox-style shoutout tonight… rather, I will just share my excitement about my plans for this thursday night…

If any of you have been reading this for a while, you will have heard me talk about the musical genius that is Foy Vance… well, he is playing at the Black Box in Belfast on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night this week… so myself, 3 friends, and 296 people I probably don’t know are heading down on thursday night to hear the master at work.

Foy seems, to me at least, to be one of those artists who really crosses the border between ordinary gig and genuine memorable experience… The thing that sets him apart I feel, along with other artists such as U2, is how much of himself he truely devotes to his music. The likes of U2, and Foy, although some may heartily disagree, cross the divide between average ‘pop song’ and a true emotionally stirring ballad. They take an emotion or event and run with it lyrically, with hard hitting truth and raw honesty, and merge that with musical talent I can only dream of… And to witness them perform (although I have never seen U2 live, only recordings) is to witness something exceptional. The amount of energy and emotion they pump into their performance is a sight to behold. The gig becomes more than a gig – it becomes a brief encounter with the divine. And I don’t believe it’s going too far to say that… both U2 and Foy have immersed their faith in their work, resulting in songs that touch the soul and stir the spirit… when they perform, I believe they are engaging in acts of worship… Engaging with God in emotions and thoughts about diverse experiences and events, and using their gifts to do so…

Thats all I feel I really have to say right now… You may agree or disagree, but those are my thoughts. I’m looking forward to thursday night…

Much to update…

Posted in friends, gigs, randomness on August 23, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

So, always wanting to keep things in a chronological order, lets deal with the Stones and Dublin first!

The trip down to Dublin was quite uneventful (on Saturday this is), except that I was skinned for a ticket – a good £35!!
On arriving in Dublin at around 10am,  Gavin, Ross, Dougie and I went to grab some breakfast – an incredible fry for 6 euro! Sweet! Check in to our hotel for the night wasn’t until 2pm though… so we explored Dublin for a while… in the rain… but luckily, me being one who enjoys the rain, I didn’t mind as much as the other guys seemed to…
Anyway, I’ll just cut from here right to Slane. I’ve no idea what time we arrived at, but we got there for the second support act (who I’m afraid actually did just sound and look like drugged up nomads…), and I wasn’t very impressed… anyway, we got a spot on the grass and sat down on our coats to wait the few hours until the Stones were due to appear. I distinctly remember being asleep at some point (or rather, waking up), during the third support act. I was very tired though… kinda explains how I managed to fall asleep lying in the mud with loud music playing and rain falling on my face…
So, to cut ahead some more, the Stones eventually graced the stage, and put on an extremely impressive show. I didn’t know a lot of the songs, but really enjoyed it nonetheless. However, my legs were starting to get sore by the end… Though good on the Stones, they played for about 2 hours and they aren’t exactly young anymore…
So, leaving Slane was an experience… Imagine a scene from a disaster movie, like that bit at the end of Titanic, where all the people are moving in a tightly packed mass up the slope of the now sinking ship… leaving Slane was like that, a solid mass of people, moving at a steady pace… was eerily like a pack of zombies, walking… walking……

Next was Monday, the day of fun and frys… but as I’m tired and desperately trying to remember the past week so far, I’ll merely redirect you to this rather neat summary on April’s blog

And you know what, I’m too tired to blog right now about my past few days… and knowing the abuse I will receive for not actually blogging about mondays events, I’ll do a proper blog about monday and the rest of the week thus far soon… I promise…

A last interesting thing is that while I was away, somebody called my home looking for me, and my dad answered the phone. He said they sounded english… anyway, they were looking for me, and he said I wasn’t here, and could he take a message, so the girl said it was a personal call and to say it was mercers, or about mercers, or something, and I would know what that meant… I’m afraid I’ve no idea what it means though… I’m quite confused!! If anyone reading this has any idea, leave me a comment!

Rolling Stones…

Posted in gigs on August 20, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

The gig was last night…

I’m rather sleep deprived right now…

Post on the gig to come soon…

Goodnight…

Martha Wainwright…

Posted in Foy Vance, friends, gigs, guitar on August 14, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

I’ve no idea if I’ve even spelt that right… but ah well…

I went to see Martha Wainwright tonight (after finding the site to link to I see I HAVE spelt it right!)
I had never heard her own stuff before, rather I knew her as the girl who sang with Snow Patrol in their ‘Set fire to the third bar’ song that my friend Marc hates… Anyway, I had thought she sounded ok on that, so when my friend Jeannie (who is a fan of hers) asked me to go along with her and a few other friends to a gig she was doing in Lisburn, I happily agreed. After all, it had been her who had introduced me to the magic of Foy Vance!
So, I was reminded last night (sunday night) about the concert (‘oh crap, i forgot!!’ was my first thought) and so tonight we set off for Lisburn, my hopes high of a good gig. After picking up Sonya, Dave and Connor (all of whom I hadn’t seen in a while, so I was glad to see them) we set off on an interesting route to the lyric arts centre in Lisburn.

The support act was a local band called The Winding Stair who I have to say I really enjoyed. They were very Irish in their sound, and yet kinda modern too – I loved it… although I am sad to say I don’t really feel their myspace recordings do justice to their live performance.
So after the support and a short interval was Martha. She came out to applause, and I was shocked for a moment into thinking she was wearing nothing from her waist down (but then noticed she was in fact just about wearing a pair of shorts, lol). She began to play acoustic guitar (I was under the impression she was a pianist, but seemingly either I was wrong or she had gone for a change tonight), and I have to be honest and say that I was quite unimpressed with the first song. Or even to go further, I wasn’t so much unimpressed as I was disliking it. It just wasn’t my kind of thing at all… I can’t even really try and describe what it was like, but it didn’t appeal to my tastes at all…

She spoke to us (the crowd) a few times throughout the performance, and revealed that a lot of the gig was new songs as she has just finished work on a new album. To be blatantly honest, I found the entire gig average. It’s kinda hard to describe… I thought it was good in that I appreciate the talent she has – she has an incredible voice, and used the guitar very well to accent that. However, her style of music I found to be very unappealing to my tastes. Also, her songs all seemed to be very depressing and hopeless… and it didn’t help that she seemed to forget her lyrics a lot.
All in all, I stand by what I told my friends when I left. I thought it was good, yes, but I didn’t really enjoy it… I won’t be rushing back to see her. Good thing the next two gigs I’ve got tickets for are The Rolling Stones and Foy Vance!!