QUAYS News entertainment reporter Natalie Rees went to the watch Foxes at The Academy, this is what she made of the gig…

After receiving a Grammy for her vocals on Zedd’s 2013 dance smash ‘Clarity’, Foxes has gone on to achieve success as an artist in her own right. ‘Glorious’, her debut album released in May 2014, featured chart topping singles including ‘Youth’, ‘Holding Onto Heaven’ and ‘Let Go For Tonight’, cemented her as a regular feature of Radio 1’s playlist. Prior to the release of her second album, ‘All I Need’, Foxes has embarked on a headline tour around the UK, with support from the immensely talented Izzy Bizu. Last night, it was Manchester‘s chance to party with the hit maker.

Bizu was all smiles as she joined her band on stage to perform her support set at 8.15pm. The singer songwriter from South London kept it simple, enveloping the Club Academy audience in her soulful vocals. Opening with ‘Adam & Eve’, Izzy had everyone swaying along almost immediately. The basement level venue could have been an American jazz club as she introduced ‘Diamonds’ to a roar from the crowd, encouraging them to “jam with me”. The effortless energy of ‘Give Me Love’ contrasted with the following powerful cover of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’, showcased her beautiful voice and ensured she had the entire room’s attention.

Izzy Bizu supporting FoxesIzzy maintained a relaxed and cool atmosphere whilst admitting “I’m scared to knock over my glass of wine”. After singing ‘Mad Behaviour’, the 21-year-old finished with the upbeat feel good single ‘White Tiger’, released earlier this month. By the reception Izzy had, its certain she’ll go on to enjoy further success and recognition next year.

Approximately thirty minutes after the support finished, The Academy was hit with an explosion of light and colour, as Foxes burst onto the stage to a roar from the capacity crowd, “Manchester!” The 26-year-old immediately lit up the atmosphere with the favourite ‘Holding Onto Heaven’, followed by ‘Youth’, another single off her debut album ‘Glorious’ – that made the top 20 in the UK. Her unmistakeable stage presence continued to encourage the crowd to dance along with her, shouting “you know the words!”

Foxes maintained all attention as she treated the audience to tracks off her forthcoming album, ‘All I Need’, these included the already successful ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me Now’,Amazing’ and the title track. Despite some not having heard these before, the crowd didn’t seem to mind, as all three held Foxes’ trademark fun sound. Her sixth song of the night was a cool cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’ mixed with Years and Years’ ‘Shine’, which she previously played in Radio’s Live Lounge back in July.

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Foxes’ unstoppable energy was dispersed throughout the crowd as she had everyone moving to ‘Glorious’ before insisting “sing as loud as you can” to the first single off the new album, ‘Body Talk’. Foxes was clearly impressed by her fans’ moves, shouting “Manchester, you can dance!”

It’s easy to forget that this is only her second UK headline tour. Talking to her adoring fans, she thanked everyone for their support, “It’s still really weird people come and watch me play, It’s mad!” Dedicated to those who “had been there from the beginning”, she began to play a medley of some of her earliest records, including an emotional performance of ‘Count The Saints’ and ‘White Coats’.

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Foxes bounced back into the world of dance with a “very special” song that won her a Grammy, “I hope you all have drinks in your hands!” ‘Clarity’ had the packed venue clapping and singing at the top of their voices, leading Foxes to remove her ear piece so she could join in.

The singer songwriter finished with her most recent single ‘Better Love’, which currently features on Radio 1’s ‘A Playlist’, followed by the pop smash ‘Let Go For Tonight’, a crowd favourite which concluded the set perfectly.

By: Natalie Rees

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