Foy Vance continues The Wild Swan Tour in Edinburgh with a show which is intimate, energetic, soulful, and quite simply brilliant.

Tonight sees the continuation of Foy Vance’s The Wild Swan Tour, after finishing the first leg last December. Things have been pretty busy for Vance in between with the birth of his son in the spring before this second leg.

Opening proceedings tonight is the brilliant recent Northern Irish discovery, Ryan McMullan. The Edinburgh audience are respectfully quiet and attentive while watching young McMullan perform tracks from his EP’s. This includes the likes of the haunting “Ghosts”, which is performed on keyboard, and the title track from his A Winters Coat EP, performed on guitar; both are well received.

The audience all support McMullan by singing along to “In The Back Of My Mind”. Ryan has been performing a cover song at some point during his set each night on this run, and tonight he chooses to surprisingly put his stamp on Michael Sembello’s “Maniac”. Unlike the quirky dance version used in the film Flashdance, Ryan strips this down and we get a superb mellow, chilled out version which the Edinburgh crowd lap up.

McMullan ends the set on the guitar, and as some of the crowd bring out their mobile phones he jokingly highlights that his song “Oh Susanna” is available to purchase online as a single. They might as well buy it using their phones. The set ends on a high with the aforementioned track which was co-written with Vance himself.

Foy Vance and his band grace the stage to a roaring round of applause opening the show with “Be Like You Belong”. As usual, at a Foy Vance gig things settle down quickly and you can almost hear a pin drop as the Edinburgh audience listens respectively and watch in awe. The pace picks up for the next couple of songs, culminating with the band playing a very tight “Closed Hand Full of Friends”.

Vance reminisces of days of old in his home town with the song “Bangor Town” before switching to his guitar for an energetic and rousing rendition of “Noamh Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution”. The audience clap, dance and get into the swing of things whilst band members Hammy (drums) and Connor McCreanor (double bass) hold down a tight rhythm for guitarist Colm McClean who provides some silky smooth jazzy rock and roll licks.

“You and I”, a song Vance performed with Bonnie Raitt on his Joy of Nothing album, is written for the fans Foy explains. He also highlights how inspirational Raitt was as she was packing venues wherever she went without any radio play, posters, promotional campaigns etc. The audience is in fine voice tonight they hang on every word as they accompany Vance throughout.

Most of tonight’s set focuses on The Wild Swan album with a few songs from its predecessor Joy of Nothing. Foy also performs his latest song “Moonshine”, written for Ben Affleck’s movie Live By Night. This is a great southern country blues song performed live and maybe a bit different from most of Foy’s material. It is very tight however and leads into one of the most joyous feel-good moments tonight, the lively “Upbeat Feel Good”. This is a song where Vance takes a little back seat and lets the Edinburgh crowd sing from the top of their lungs, and they do it justice. The atmosphere is fever pitch by this point.

The Liquid Rooms erupts for the very popular “She Burns”. Vance and band end the main set with the usual “Guiding Light”, whilst Ryan McMullan returns to the stage to sing a verse. It is a very close and intimate moment. The audience is left wanting more, they continue to sing long after Vance and the band leave the stage.

The encore resumes shortly after with the band returning to the stage breaking into “Fired Up”. The show heads towards its conclusion with a stripped back rendition of “The Wild Swans On The Lake” whereby Vance delicately uses a violin bow to create chilling sounds on the guitar with subtle input from his band. Foy ends the song A Capella and wraps things up still singing and before taking a deserved bow in front of the Edinburgh audience.

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Foy Vance
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Event Date: 16-MAY-2017

About The Author


Hailing from Northern Ireland and living in Glasgow, Scotland, I have been a lover of a wide range of different music for many many years. With a passion for photography I love combining writing about great music, with shooting great images of bands or artists, capturing the mood, atmosphere and painting an accurate picture of a gig for those who weren't there.