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Angel Haze live at the Academy in Dublin

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It was by chance I discovered one of my favourite artists Angel Haze was playing the Academy in Dublin.

There was very little publicity about the tour (and later I found out why) and I only realised when it popped up on Spotify.

I was so keen to go that I used my emergency credit card (well this was an emergency!)

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Angel Haze burst onto the hip-hop scene with the debut album Dirty Gold.

The rapper, who identifies as agender and uses the pronoun they/them, has since split from her label and released her new mixtape Back to the Woods.

I only began listening to this a few days before the gig as I knew these songs would be featuring. I loved Dirty Gold which is a deeply personal album. At the time I was listening to it I was having some personal problems.

I can honestly say this album really helped me, music is the best form of therapy. When I was feeling bad I would either go for a run listening to it or listen to it at night when I couldn’t sleep.

Back to the Woods is quite different but very easy to listen to. Even though I’d only listened to it a couple of times I knew most of the songs before the gig.

Following the acrimonious split from Island Records, Haze said they “hate” some of the Dirty Gold songs so I guessed they wouldn’t be featuring in the show!

(Plus they favourited my tweet saying I was listening to Back to the Woods..almost died!)

The intimate surrounds of the Academy’s Green room played host to Haze and her support acts Californian rapper Devmo and Cork indie act Talos.

Devmo was the ideal warm-up act and it was great to see a female rap artist as support.

Her cheeky personality really comes across well on stage. I particularly enjoyed her rendition of “Take me to Church.”

Talos seemed very subdued compared to Devmo’s energy yet singer Eoin French’s falsetto vocal is incredible.

 

Tk Kayembe who produced Back to the Woods took to the stage as DJ and hypeman around 9pm as Angel Haze almost sneaked on stage, all dressed in black.

“The more energy you give to me, the more I’ll give to you!” she announced to the crowd.  As I’d speculated, the set was dominated by Back to the Woods songs.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is one of my favourite songs from BTTW.

For “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Detox” Haze selected two girls from the crowd to dance and flirt with on stage and also hopped down into the crowd at one point.

“The Woods” was a visceral powerful performance which details Haze’s was abused by a brother and how their mother turned a blind eye to it.

This song shows off both Haze’s singing ability and rapping. “Impossible” and “The Eulogy” were also impressive performances.

Haze’s most famous song “Battlecry” was the only “Dirty Gold” tune that they performed to the rapturous crowd.

“Would I be a dick if I didn’t play Battlecry?!” Haze asked the audience. The answer was a resounding yes!

“Werkin Girls” also produced by Kayembe had the entire crowd rapping along.

Haze then thanked the crowd saying a lot of people doubted their ability to undertake the tour and told the fans they were here because of them.

Haze is playing 40 cities across Europe without the support of a label hence the lack of publicity.

In fact, when I read the Academy’s listings in the paper, the gig didn’t even appear which is a travesty!

Haze signed CDs after the gig but I was too broke to buy one! From what I saw on social media, lots of lucky people got take a photo with them. Haze seems really appreciative and very gracious.

The gig was really reasonably priced with tickets only €20 including booking fee. Money well spent in my opinion. 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed this post, let me know if you were at the gig or if you’re an Angel Haze fan.

I have lots of exciting posts coming up, my next one will be one the sneaker trend.

Thanks for reading as always, if you’re having any difficulty leaving a comment, just click the grey speech bubble in the bottom right-hand corner.

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Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foxes live at the Academy

Foxes kicked off her “Glorious” UK and Ireland tour last week at the Academy. With tickets only €22.50 it would’ve been a crime not to go.

Considering the fact that she is a comparatively new artist, I didn’t know what to expect. However I was completely blown away!

Pic: Foxes Youtube

Electro-pop outfit Ariana and the Rose were the support act first on stage. I’d never heard of the New York singer-songwriter but she had a great stage presence and got the crowd warmed up. She also had an awesome outfit including light-up runners!

Even though I hadn’t heard her music before she is probably one of the best opening acts I’ve seen at a gig. At most gigs people are looking at their watches and phones during the support act and grumbling but she interacted well with the crowd and made it easy to want to watch her.

I really enjoyed “In Your Bed” which you can listen to here.

Foxes didn’t take the stage until 9.30. My phone battery conveniently died before she even appeared so I don’t have any pictures of her! She pirouetted on dressed in a baseball jacket, black sports bra, pink sequin joggers with rhinestone details and white 90’s runners with white socks. Foxes stylist I salute you! Foxes or Louisa Rose Allen (her real name) looks very young in person and in this sporty 90’s outfit and pigtails could almost pass for a teenager.

At first I thought she might be over doing the dancing and mincing around but I soon realised it’s part of the act.

Foxes sings with a live band and no backing singers. I was seriously impressed by the quality of her voice live. While I really admire her as a singer/songwriter I also love her aesthetic. Her videos for Youth and Let Go For Tonight are amazing and she has great fashion sense.

The highlights of the show for me were “Glorious”, “Holding onto Heaven” and especially a medley cover combining Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” and The Artful Dodger’s “Movin’ Too Fast.”

I absolutely LOVED the Foxes rendition, it was gorgeous. She performed it sitting on the side of the stage with her guitarists, it was lovely to hear an acoustic song like this in contrast to the high energy numbers.

I think she may have changed the lyrics of “Movin’ Too Fast” but that’s artistic licence. 😛

During my time in a former job I always heard a dance song called “Clarity” being played.

The song itself irritated me BUT I loved the vocalist and have only recently discovered Foxes sings on it! When I heard it sung live, I immediately liked it a lot more.

Likewise I never realised Foxes featured on Rudimental’s “Right Here” which she also performed. Her vocals on these dance tracks are what made her well-known but her own music is equally worthy of recognition.

This track really seemed energise the crowd, everyone was dancing and singing along to it. Her voice sounds most authentic on plaintive tracks such as “Right Here” and “Youth” and the audience seemed to connect with this.

She also performed a mashup of Pharrell’s “Happy” and Massive Attack’s Teardrop. This is a slow arrangement completely different to the Pharrell version, you can hear it on Youtube below.

She appeared to get a little emotional during “Teardrop”.  She continued in this vein on “Youth” telling the crowd “This is the first song I wrote, on the train to London. I wanted to be a singer and I never thought I could be a singer.”

 I was really looking forward to “Let Go for Tonight” which I knew would be the encore. (Also I could read the set list from where I stood. )

This was the only song she sang over a backing track and as the crowd were so loud, it was hard to hear. However it was still a triumphant finale. I think she was especially excited as it was the first gig of her tour and it was an enthusiastic performance.

I kept my gig outfit casual, denim shirt, patterned leggings and a gold necklace.

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Edel