Phoebe Frost reviews the Grammy award winning Foxes, who played to the tiny but fierce crowd at Bristol’s Thekla.

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If I asked who Louisa Rose Allen was in January, I bet you that no one could tell me. If however I mentioned her stage name, ‘Foxes’, many of the Radio One audience would perhaps be more familiar. It is even more surprising that this unknown from Southampton was the winner of the 56th Annual Grammy for Best Dance Recording for the track ‘Clarity’ with Zedd. It’s not often that Thekla, the small but mighty venue on the edge of St. Mary’s Redcliffe on the Bristol harbour bags a Grammy winner, so it was a pleasure to be there to witness her insane performance.

 

Having only known about Foxes since her Grammy win, and only really listening to her released material, I went with an open mind on Friday night, completely unbiased. What first surprised me was the slightly older audience that was drawing in. Although the event had a 14+ age range, I almost felt that my friend and I were the youngest there. Despite Allen herself only being 24, it seems her dance/pop music has attracted a mix of men and women in their late 20s/early 30s; something rather unexpected.

Support act The Ramona Flowers, a new UK five-piece, built the anticipation successfully with their chilled rock tunes, giving everyone something to sway to. Their track ‘Brighter’ could definitely become a sing-along-to tune.

Appearing around 9pm, Foxes did not disappoint from the start. Clearly very comfortable with her onstage presence in a white crop-top and dark denim jeans, I was instantly envious. Playing the well-known ‘Youth’, ‘Clarity’ and ‘Let Go For Tonight’, mixed with new material such as ‘Beauty Queen’ and ‘Holding On To Heaven’, the young performer evidently loved every second of being on stage, her emotions echoed by the crowd. I love it when artists step out of a comfort zone and cover songs as well as playing their own, a challenge that Foxes stepped up to. Mixing Drake’s ‘Just Hold On We’re Going Home’ and Eminem’s ‘Monster’, the non-rapping Southampton beauty probably couldn’t have chosen more difficult and well-loved songs to make her own; but somehow she did. Being a big fan of both Drake and Eminem, part of me now prefers Foxes version to theirs. Hats off to Miss Allen for that one!

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Foxes bubbly personality was a boost to her set. Her constant chatty, lively persona made certain that her adoring crowd could become closer to their beloved singer. She was almost quite comical, like running off half way through her set to change into a pair of shorts because she was ‘too f***ing hot!’ Also, coming back on after a choir of ‘encore’ chants even after her microphone had been switched off to perform the ever anticipated ‘Right Here’, which she collaborated with the amazing, electro Rudimental shows her down-to-earth side, even stating that she had forgotten the words as they hadn’t performed it in so long.

Foxes was a lively, eccentric and stunning performer, who had such a presence that the crowd went insane just while she went of stage for only a minute of so. To have built that relationship with fans over such a short space of time is not to be sniffed at. Thoroughly impressed!

 

Foxes. Thekla. 07/03/2014