ColumnsPaul Stokes

Soundcheck - Foo Fighters, Ben Howard, Hozier

ColumnsPaul Stokes
Soundcheck - Foo Fighters, Ben Howard, Hozier

Amy Gravelle (@AmyGravelle) checks out a host of acts about to tour, here's her recent highlights that will be playing a UK venue near you soon.

hozier

After all the hullaballoo caused from the Foo Fighters’ surprise gigs in Brighton and London over a two week period last month, Dave Grohl's men finally played their first scheduled UK show of 2014, headlining the Invictus Games Closing Ceremony in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (14 September). Dedicating the set to the the wounded and injured servicemen who took part in the competition, along with those around the world - the Foos played a short yet succinct set of crowd pleasers including My Hero, Best Of You and Everlong. It easy to see why people still make such a fuss about the need to "seeing the Foos live". Grohl’s vocal roar remains powerful and there's little to fault in their tightly-packed set, as the band demonstrate that they really have the headline rock band package down to a tee. Declaring “we’ll be back very soon,” as they leave the stage, it seems Grohl and co will be announcing a full UK tour in the immediate future. Fingers crossed it’s taking place soon. On The Road: TBC

Opting for something more mellow after Grohl's shredding, I headed down to the Roundhouse in Camden to catch Ben Howard's iTunes Festival show (24 September). After winning two Brit Awards in 2013 for British Breakthrough and best British Male, Howard certainly has a lot of hype to live up to. With his second album on the way, the singer-songwriter used the show to preview a few teasers of what to expect from I Forget Where We Are (out 20 October), while the fierce, passionate intensity of previous hits Keep Your Head Up and Old Pine ensured the crowd left buzzing. On the road: 02 Apollo, Manchester (3 December), Wolverhampton Civic (4 December), Usher Hall, Edinburgh (6 December), Olympia Theatre, Dublin (7-8 December), 02 Academy Brixton, London (10-11 December)

While Howard may have been the star of the night, support act Andrew Hozier-Byrne - known to most simply as Hozier - had the platform he needed to prove he has the potential to pull out a performance just as stunning. Mixing catchy pop and sensual country blues, his gospel influences and whisky-soaked vocals suggests this is a truly special artist in the making. Watch this space. On the road: The Ritz, Manchester (12 November), O2 ABC, Glasgow (16 November), O2 Shepherds Bush, London (31 January 2015), O2 Shepherds Bush, London (1 February 2015)