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Foxes – Scala, London

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Scala, King’s Cross; a well-known venue for up and coming bands to showcase their wares in the heart of London; a suitable setting for Foxes, recently tipped for big things in 2014 and a shot at the acclaimed BRITs Critic’s Choice Award. At the time of writing, she currently resides at number seven in the charts, with her latest single, ‘Let Go for Tonight’, which formed part of her hour or so long set on a cold Tuesday evening, a set that had melody, heart and attention.

Support on the night was provided by Leon Else, a 24 year old singer songwriter from Kent, with his recent song ‘Protocol’ featuring on the playoff Radio 1. One thing that can never be denied of Leon Else is that the man thrives on variety in his music, ranging from Portishead inspired melodies on ‘Protocol’, to shades of OneRepublic on ‘Us Against The World’ and to slow RnB rhythms on tracks such as ’Refund’. Whilst the artistic endeavour is admirable, the set seemed a little disjointed and lacked cohesion, with a sense that Mr Else may have been trying one too many variations, and the message got lost somewhere into the 5th or 6th track. Whilst this inevitably affected the general consensus of the crowd, the vocals could not be faulted, with a wide range of pitch and style, Leon Else proved a talented singer, if a somewhat convoluted songwriter.

After what seemed like an age, Foxes finally made her way onto the stage, keyboard and drums in tow. What the ensemble lack in instrumental variation, Loui Rose Allen more than made up for in her half bouncy, half melancholic performance around the stage. The opener, ‘Ghosts’, consisted primarily of heavy classical chords interspersed with synth keys, whilst the follow-up ‘White Coats’, evocative of Kate Bush crossed with musical sections more accustomed to Jagwar Ma, was a good indicator of what was in store. As the third track, ‘Night Owls’ resonated throughout the tiny, sold out venue, the light show really kicked the gig into gear, creating an effervescent atmosphere, with Clock Opera style shifts in samples, it was a solid example to lead into what is arguably Foxes’ best known song, ‘Youth’.

At the mere mention of the title, the crowd raucously cheered in response to what was certainly a crowd pleaser, and one that was performed with clear care for the lyrics and the response of the audience. The fifth (‘Echo’), sixth (‘Glorious’) and seventh extracts (a combined cover of both Drake and Rihanna), settled the show into a more sombre mood, which seemed a little repetitive at times, but were performed with such aplomb that this was instantly forgiven.

The final assortment of tunes (‘Heaven’, ‘Shaving Heads’ and ‘Beauty Queen’) restarted the up-tempo approach on display earlier in the performance, and finishing the set with ‘Let Go for Tonight’ was a welcome close to a perfectly performed show in an intimate setting that shows just what this future head turner might become.

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