The sticky, pink-necked crowd are invited for a much-needed dip in the Mississippi. Irish songwriter Hozier fills the tent with an unseasonable chill with gloomy lyrics, surging blues and gospel.
The boy from Co. Wicklow has had a taste of the Deep South and taken a big ol’ bite of vintage rhythm and blues. ‘To Be Alone’ is a love letter to John Lee Hooker’s ‘Boom! Boom!’ The melodramatic ‘Take Me to Church’ swells through the tent, Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s bleak lyrics climbs over ethereal vocals and grim piano chords.
The coy and bedraggled singer introduces a cover of Amerie’s ‘1 Thing’ as “a little bit of fun”, the crowd having a shame-free dance to the pop guilty pleasure, guaranteed to coax to tent twitchers to the front.
A wave of Americana flows through the set and his bluesy, wavering guitar riffs could cause a stir in Henham Park’s tumbleweed population. We may be in Suffolk, but Hozier’s sent us a postcard from the States.