Given the slew of modern-day troubadours vying for inclusion on the latest Acoustic Love compilation, Foy Vance's growling voice and energetic delivery are refreshing. Cloth-capped and hunched over his guitar, his facial contortions make him look like a cross between Andy Capp and the groundskeeper in The Shining. His voice, however, really is impressive, and in a small venue like the black-walled basement of the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell it worked incredibly well.
For a solid hour and a half, Vance played tracks from his new album, Hope, the 2005 EP Live Sessions and the Birth of the Toilet Tour, and 2006's Watermelon Oranges. Many in the crowd - some of whom had clearly been to all four of his residency nights - were familiar with some of the new tracks. In particular, "Indiscriminate Act of Kindness" was greeted with a wriggling of excitement, many people singing along where they could.
Vance is, in fact, the son of a preacher man. Born in Bangor, Northern Ireland, his father moved to Oklahoma when Vance was very young, touring the southern states and spending time in Alabama and New Orleans. …