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Live review Victor Vox @ St. Johns Hoxton, London (04/11/12)

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Playing an exquisitely sophisticated mix of blues, rock and folk music, Victor Vox is a French singer/songwriter growing his musical career in London. After founding Victor & The Rain Dog, with which he released two EPs in the capital between 2013 and 2016, Victor is now experimenting with a solo career, aided by Yaron Stavi on double bass and Adam Hayeson on drums.

This Bonfire weekend, the trio took to the stage at St. Johns Hoxton church for an installment of the Sanctuary Gig Night series. The explosive evening was characterized by a duality of headlines which had Victor playing sets in alternation with singer, songwriter and producer Sigrid Zeiner, whose endearing vocals wove in and out of up-beat pop-electro tunes with the dexterity of international singers but the intimacy of a cozy, friendly Saturday night.

In fact, Sanctuary is a community initiative molding a movement that isn’t confined to the walls of a church building, but impacts the entirety of the neighborhood. Monthly, Sanctuary partners with Go out of Tune to host live music events showcasing the talents of emerging musicians and groups.

The atmosphere was energetic but vastly welcoming, homely and cozy, soothing and rejuvenating. Picture this: wooden garden chairs arranged casually on the church’s flooring, children selling tickets at the entrance, a DIY bar accepting donations for some beers and wine and an Italian man making delicious pizza out of a wood oven in a van. Plus, such a breathtaking 1820's venue, the vaults resonated the acoustics in a heavenly manner, notes bouncing off each side of a stunning painted ceiling. The two acts spread warmth and joy to each corner of the religious venue.

Victor played two short but entertaining sets, showcasing a wide range of musical talents, whilst switching between three guitars, ukulele and a loud hailer. Originally an African drummer, who picked up a flamenco guitar before training as a jazz singer in Paris, he glided through genres. Jamming to some rock/soul tracks, he sang covers, originals from his latest EP and new upcoming tracks, soulfully blending his world music background with a passion for storytelling.

Crouching down to the rhythm of his companion’s notes, Victor hugged his guitar with passion and swayed to the tempo with permeating passion. In Jockey Full of Bourbon, I could really envision myself into the streets of a small French town, stumbling with a knee-length leather jacket and ragged shoes. His chiseled chin and thin pursed lips really feeling every single word of his ballads, he also cradled the crowd with some French music, melting the hearts to a point it felt he was softening the stone walls. Smirking to the chords of his single Fearless Adventurer, other than the catchiness of his song and his skillful melodic loops, his interpretation really shined.

Endearing, fun, genuine, Victor really knew how to keep in touch with his audience. With a refreshing spontaneity to his humor and character, he goofily made conversation with the spectators, telling the tales intertwined behind the song lyrics, crafting a picture of his habits, saying he was sorry and starting over when he messed up a word. So humble and relatable, his persona really channeled his musical talent and message like into a felt blanket wrapping his audience.

His debut EP - Live at EastCote Studios - is now available across all digital platforms and in the form of a 6-track 12'' vinyl, available on Bandcamp.




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