Wicklow based songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne or Hozier as he is usually known made his way to Kilkenny’s Set Theatre on 28 December, where he treated the crowd to fantastic sold-out seated show.
Joining him on the night was solo indie artist Elaine Mai, who gave the audience a host of indie dance songs and remixes. Mai played a selection of old and new songs, along with a number of remixes from fellow Irish artists Daithi and Cat Dowling. Although it was a seated show tonight in the Set Theatre, it seemed that the audience wanted to dance among the chilled indie electronica that Mai produced, who was drifting effortlessly about the stage mixing and singing throughout.
However, when Hozier took to the stage with his six-piece band, the seated atmosphere was more adequate for the show that was about to take place. There was a warm reaction to Hozier’s opening setlist choices, as EP tracks ‘Like Real People Do’ and ‘Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene‘ were played. Unreleased track ‘Someone New’ was introduced as Hozier quietly spoke to the patient and attentive audience. A soulful version of Led Zepplin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ went down well also.
For the next few songs, Hozier was without his band and stood alone on stage, where he attempted to change and tune guitar for EP track ‘Cherry Wine’. As he tuned, the audience sat in silence as Hozier comically mentioned “It’s a little bit silent in here”.
It’s a remarkable thing to sell out a show on the back of a four track EP release, but Hozier showed throughout the setlist how he has more in his catalogue. Soulful and R&B influences are noticeable in his songs. The performance may seem to be short as he rolls into song after song, with a few tedious guitar changes here and there. But the audience welcome the unknown tracks all the way to hit ‘Take Me To Church’ and more.
As the show came to a close, Hozier told a story about his session recording in Kilkenny Castle earlier that day, where he was met about a group driving alongside him in a car, whom he expected to receive some taunts from. But instead received some waves and words of kindness as his hit ‘Take Me To Church’ blasted out. It may have been one of a handful of moments between audience and performer, but they were truly engrossed in the wonderful songwriting of Hozier and his band.