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Jack Foz

Jack Foz – The Camden Club, London

If someone asked me to name a guy who was born to be a rockstar, has an all-too perfect voice, and a unique marvel of a mullet to cap things off, my immediate answer would be the talented singer-songwriter Jack Foz.

The London-based personality began his career in music last year and has already been making his mark, playing at venues across the capital, receiving airtime from BBC Introducing, and releasing some proper indie-rock bangers along the way, including Call, I’m Coming Home, and most recently, Its Always the Same. Foz has a lot to look forward to this year and his performance at the Camden Club in London is his first ever headline show, and it’s a sell out too! He also has three other indie-rock sensations on the bill; solo-artist Alex Hopkins, quartet President Elect, and three-piece The Valla. It was setting up to be yet another impressive showcase of upcoming indie-rock material to kick off an epic Friday night party.

The venue itself was intimate and cool, which certainly helped set the mood in the room; a rounded stage with a selection of instruments, microphones, and technical gear scattered over it, and enough room down on the floor for the crowd to go wild. The fairy lights which lit up the rear seated section of the room were particularly prominent and made the occasion even more classy. With a timely smell of greasy cooked meat from the adjacent kitchen that warmed the Camden air, the nights first support act, Alex Hopkins, took to the stage, and gave the early arrivals a flavour of what was to come.

The Worcestershire singer-songwriter skilfully made the stage his own, as just himself and his guitarist playing acoustic beside him grasped the ever-growing attendance right from the off. Hopkins played his way through an impressive selection of his best material, including Good Morning, Daisy, and Life Keeps Going. We were also treated with two unreleased tracks called Intertwining Storylines and Fade Away, both performed with such ease and confidence, and were received well by the audience. The set was a real success, and Hopkins’ vocals were simply thrilling to hear live; there seemed to be evidence of his musical influences, with elements of Lewis Capaldi and vocalist Conor Mason of Nothing but Thieves weaved through his voice. After concluding with his most recent hit, Rather Run, Hopkins departed the stage with more energy than when he began; it was the perfect opener. We should expect more new material and performances from Alex very soon.

As the stage was re-rigged for the second act, you had enough time to grab yourself some tongue-twitching street food and a London-priced beverage from the adjacent bar area; the growing crowd wisely made use of this time instead. You could smell the fresh London evening air sweeping in through the entrance, in the same way the second supporting act, President Elect, swept confidently onto the stage, opening their set with their restless hit Bet It All. The quartet had the crowd bouncing in no time, as captained their way through many of their heavy headbanging numbers, including Something to Prove, Addicted, and Long Nights, Loose Ends. Their stage presence was undeniably confident and controlled, and the seamless transitions between tracks maintained the energy flooding through the crowd. The crowd were frequently encouraged to clap in time and were riled up by the group, ready for the main event. After more of their tracks including Drive, Rebound, and their most recent release, Pretence, the band concluded their set with Coffee Song. It was a total frenzy which went down an absolute treat for the loyal fans towards the front of the Camden crowd. It was truly epic, and the night had so far lived up to its expectation of being a stunning showcase of indie-rock music.

The room was now almost reaching its capacity as more eager fans filed in through the door, just in time for the third act of the night; The Valla. The London-based three piece settled confidently onto the stage and were welcomed with huge cheers, before throwing Camden into their opening number Space Song.  The crowd were gripped instantly by the effortlessly energetic, heavy, and heart-pounding sonic that emerged. There was evidence of their musical influences within their pacey, rhythmic hits, most notably The Kooks and Catfish & The Bottlemen; It was a huge success. The trio smashed their way through an excellent set displaying the group at their absolute best, with hits including Your Exhausting, Write This Feeling, and Anarchist all energising the already buzzing crowd. A personal favourite track of mine, Ice Cream, came shortly after, and sounded as if it had come straight out of a 2010 summer high school movie; a much-needed taste of summer. All too soon was it time for the group to depart, leaving Camden chanting for more. Everything’s Good was their conclusive number and was a real crowd pleaser, ending in an epic extravaganza. Their stage presence was indisputably brilliant, and we should be sure to see these boys make it to the big stage in no time.

It was time for the main event, as the venue reached a full house and a profound excitement lie in the air. I found it amusing that the crowd were singing and dancing along to a selection of favourite indie-rock classics that were playing between sets; quite the sight! The evening air had now mixed with the ever-present aroma of alcohol and sweat which warmed the room, not a problem, as it added to the punkish atmosphere inside this intimate venue. The set soon commenced, with glamourous cheers welcoming Foz and his band onto the stage as an opening instrumental played. Camden was then thrown right into the thick of his electric opening number, Time Thats Wasted, as we all prepared for an unforgettable performance.

The crowd were in for a real party tonight, as Jack’s ability to show off a variety of sonic, meaning, and lyricism across his material was effortless and performed with sheer professionalism. The spirit and passion he brought to the stage with every track was breathtaking; fans were bouncing in the palms of his hands. Millennial Waste of Air, I Feel Alive, Overthinker; it was banger after banger from Foz, and the crowd wasted no time in belting back their favourite lyrics. The audience itself was a diverse combination of mixed ages wearing unique outfits fit for the occasion, and all here in awe of the same man; it was a poignant celebration of music. Foz frequently showed his appreciation for the crowd beneath him, riling them up and bringing out energy-driven cheers and chants, including “Jack! Jack! Jack!” as he revelled in the moment. There was distinct evidence of Jack’s musical idles weaved within his echo-laden vocals and material too, the likes of Sam Fender and hints of Bryan Adams being strikingly distinguished. If the room wasn’t already warm enough before, it was now reaching boiling point as warm bodies bounced frantically along with Foz.

We were surprised with two newer unreleased tracks, both which were received well by the Camden crowd. I Couldn’t Hate You If I Tried had everyone in the room clapping in time, and at the request of Foz, belting back the “Here we f***ing go” chant before the chorus; it was a pulsating delirium which brought pure joy to the room. After the band were introduced, Scumbag followed; the crowd were encouraged to wave their middle fingers around, reflecting the meaning behind the ferocious but heartbreaking lyrics. The set continued precisely as you’d expect, anthem after anthem and the crowd right where Foz wanted them with every beat. Homesick and I’m Coming Home were both audibly pleasing and were a real joy to see played live, especially with the renowned chorus of Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus thrown into the mix during the intro. It’s Always the Same was the most recent release, but the crowd knew exactly what they were doing as they carolled back some of the memorable lyrics with help from some strategic crowd work from Foz.

The set was nearing its close, but not before two final renown hits had been played. Call, which had the room ignited with enthusiasm and life set us off, before the seamless transition to closing number Casual brought his set to a breathtakingly euphoric conclusion; both were nothing short of spectacular and made it an unforgettable night for Camden. The lively crowd were chanting for “One more song,” and eventually Foz rescinded and gave us one final chorus of Teenage Dirtbag. It truly was a fairytale end to what was a surreal showcase of upcoming alternate, indie-rock material.

Jack Foz is a polished singer-songwriter that you simply must see. He’s just one friendly guy who can casually chat with you at the bar before putting on one hell of a show at his sell out headline gig that’s an indelible celebration of his success. Legend status. With more music and shows on the way this year, we can be sure to see everyone’s favourite mulleted rockstar hit the big stage very soon.

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