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Live Review: Vance Joy – 31st October 2017 – Omeara, London, UK

3 min read
photo: Mushroom

I don’t think there was a single person around the world that could escape Riptide; the catchy pop hit that took the summer of 2013 hostage. The track, accompanied by a mesmerizing video where each word is artistically depicted, propelled Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy to the top of the charts and the musician very quickly become of the the biggest breakthrough acts of the year with over a million copies of the single being sold.

Back to wow U.K. fans, Vance Joy has returned to the capital as part of his latest tour to celebrate the release of his upcoming sophomore studio album and South-East London venue Omeara served as the Aussie folksters pasture over the last two nights as he celebrated two sold out performances in the quaint venue that was dressed in a shedding paintwork and a very small framed stage; perfect for the musician to deliver a solid set for his one man performance.

New tracks from the stars forthcoming record served as a stable stepping stone for Vance, “I’m going to play a few new songs tonight” the singer announced before dishing up infectious acoustic numbers including Like Gold, where the musician was helped by an audience member after stopping mid-song and announcing “that was the wrong note” to the roaring laughter of the crowd. The vibrato heavy Take Your Time proved a popular hit and latest single Lay It On Me was offered to a crowd that was buzzing right from the very first note of opening number and was well rehearsed to help propel many of the tracks along with pitch perfect backing vocals.

As new songs poured from the songsmiths acoustic guitars – changed frequently to a backdrop of the crowds wooing that helped boost the musicians confidence in place of removing any item of clothing – tracks from debut album Dream Your Life Away sat prominently within the 14 track set with inclusions like the opening Mess Is Mine and Fire And The Flood being two of the highlights that had the crowd belting out each of the tracks’ lyrically sentimental chorus’.

As the end of the set began to approach, the strapping on of a ukelele had the venue erupt as the action signaled the arrival of the stars signature hit, Riptide. Delivered true to the original recording and with the help once again from the enthusiastic vocals and cheers from his sold out audience, the track was the obvious scene stealer of the hour long performance before the musician offered the crowd with a cover of one of his favourite Bruce Springsteen hits, Dancing In The Dark.

With no band present to flavour the songs with anything other than an acoustic guitar, many songs did start to sound the same after a while but with a promise from Vance near the end of the set that he would return to the UK with a band in March, it will be interesting to hear how these songs translate with the help of a broader instrumental backdrop.

Set list:
Mess Is Mine
From Afar
Wasted Time
Call If You Need Me
My Kind Of Man
Fire And The Flood
Like Gold
Take Your Time
Lay It On Me

Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)