LIVE: Foxes, Roundhouse, London (4/3/16)

Foxes - No 031 - Roundhouse - Fri March 4th 2016

Touring her 2nd album All I Need, Foxes – AKA Southampton-born Louisa Rose Allen – has established herself as hot property on the pop circuit. Coming to prominence through collaborations with the DJ Zedd and also with London dance collective Rudimental before her own material made an impact on the charts, she has managed to maintain real credibility with strong, well-written pop songs.

The old cliche about artists suffering from a ‘difficult 2nd album’ still does the rounds of course, and yet Foxes’ follow-up to her 2014 debut Glorious is undoubtedly a real step-up both in terms of quality and substance. Despite the difference between the albums, the songs on the setlist for this close-to-sold-out London show sat comfortably together. The pace of the material varies considerably, from the upbeat Money to the emotionally-charged ballad If You Leave Me Now (delivered whilst sat on the steps that formed the centrepiece of the stage).

Perhaps the only small question mark was over the song Better Love. Whether it was because it came early in the set and before Allen had got fully into her stride, or perhaps the song is simply a tough nut to crack in a live performance, there was a sense that the song – one of the stronger tracks on All I Need – was a bit of a struggle. In that respect though, it was certainly the exception; she absolutely nailed the rest of her set, particularly Holding On To Heaven, Body Talk and If You Leave Me Now.

Her stage persona is one of warmth and excitement – she regularly appeared to be in awe of her surroundings. She introduced Youth with the story of how she had performed the song as an unknown years earlier at an open mic night down the road in Camden, hoping that maybe one day she might get to perform at the Roundhouse.

Foxes rounded things off with an encore of Clarity and followed by Let Go For Tonight, sung energetically and emphatically to send her fans home happy. It was an impressive performance that showed just how far she has come in a relatively short space of time – she need not worry about a return to the open mic scene any time soon.

Photography: © Keven Law  (@Kevenlaw)

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