HOZIER @ O2 ACADEMY - 28/05/15

Last year at Glastonbury, a friend of ours insisted we go to the John Peel tent to see a guy whose name none of us could pronounce. One year on and Hozier has sold out the majority of his UK gigs and 'Take Me To Church' can be recited by every man, woman and child as well as being nominated for 'Song of the Year' this year at the Grammys.

He performed with a large band of talented musicians at Leeds' O2 Academy on 28th May and it's safe to say, it was a gig well worth waiting for. I fell in love with 'Someone New' on the release of his first album last year. I knew I had to see it again live and this time, know all the words.

Despite a lairy lot of Scousers beside us (please play Liverpool as well as Leeds next time round, Hozier, so we don't have to share), the atmosphere is always a good 'un at the O2. The crowd was hugely diverse, from the teeny boppers who have only heard the singles and idolise his shaggy hairstyle to the women older than Hozier's own mother, with a plastic cup of wine in one hand singing at the top of their voices.

The broad range of his fan base just goes to show there's a special something about his music and blues-y voice. Each song he writes seems to portray a little more about the singer himself and his inspirations. From 'Jackie and Wilson' reflecting the message of the song itself in rhythm and blues to a breathy, almost gospel 'Work Song'.

It's always a wonder with artists with one released album and a couple of EPs, just exactly how the setlist will play out. You can always tell a great set when the pictures from it are terrible because you wanted to appreciate the music more -  I'm not even sorry about these visuals!

He mixed things up with his own rendition of 'One Thing' by Amerie (which is definitely worth a listen here). A poignant moment was the acoustic rendition of 'In A Week' with bandmate Alana Henderson, in which there were moments of absolute awe before finishing with an encore of the Carole King inspired tune, 'Cherry Wine'.

I reckon I can speak for everyone in the room that night when I say his next album will be eagerly awaited.