On March 14th, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen hosted the first headlining show of 22 year old singer-songwriter Oli Fox. Less than four months after his UK tour with Sigrid, the man came back onto the stage to entertain masses with a sold out show.
From the moment the doors opened for first act Hannah Jane Lewis, people pressed against the stage to get a good spot.
The pop singer showed off her vocals and best dance moves with hits like “Raincheck,” new single “Last Night Every Night,” and Avril Lavigne cover “I’m With You.” Where her recorded tracks balance out the volume between her voice and the backing track, she was able to truly own her songs live, singing out the most powerful notes with confidence and gusto.
And then came Oli. The crowd eagerly waited as the clock struck 9 pm… and then 9:05… and then finally 9:12. Suddenly, two people walked on stage and sat down at a keyboard and a drum set, and then Oli Fox was there, stood in front of a microphone, smiling at the full crowd.
As he would explain later in the show, he had tried to come through the side door, which was locked, and then had to go through the audience to get to another door which they also could not enter, so he had to go outside and then come back and finally made it onto the stage. He said all this with a bashful grin, rather than the cocky confidence of someone who’s played to a full O2 Academy Brixton might. He seemed so happy to be there, no matter who knew his music and who didn’t.
In regards to the set list, he jumped immediately into second biggest hit, “The Worrying,” and followed it up with unreleased tracks “Happy It Hurts,” “Islands,” “Heartbreaker,” and “Listen.” He sang beautifully, conveying low notes with great emotion and switching into his chest voice with ease and dancing around the stage with pure enjoyment.
Leading into “Heartbreaker,” he gave another speech to the crowd. “I’m not a bad boy,” he said, explaining how he’s been rejected by plenty of girls before and both the desire and inability to turn himself into who doesn’t care about emotions, a fictional, heartbreaking version of himself. Once again, the slightly coy smile appeared, and he finished off his monologue with “Well that’s embarrassing,” before jumping into what I dearly hope is his next release.
He then finished off the night with top hit “Cruel” and newest single “Young.” “Cruel” was his signature pop-indie-electronic mix the show had been from the get go, but he started “Young” off much more toned down in a shout out to his grandfather who was watching him from the back of the room, before transferring into the fully produced version of the song.
He finished off the night by saying, “I see people I know, people I love, and – no offence but it’s true – people who I’ve never seen before,” with the reverence of someone who wanted to thank each and every person who came to the show. Then he blasted off a confetti canon, before heading to the back of the room, where he signed autographs, took selfies, and thanked literally any and every person who had come to the show.
If you can, I’d highly recommend seeing his May 4th set at the upcoming festival Live at Leeds. If you’re interested into keeping up with the up and coming singer, I’d highly suggest you follow him on his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep an eye out for another other upcoming shows and tunes.