The Bowery Presents
Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Rizzle Kicks, Foy Vance

Wed, January 30, 2013

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Radio City Music Hall

New York, NY

$55, $45, $35

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran
How does the school geek, famed for his ginger hair and massive blue NHS specs, go on to win the support of the hard-to-please grime scene and bag hoards of screaming females along the way? Follow the Ed Sheeran School of folk acoustic hip-hop thought. Nineteen-year old Ed, the son of two happily married former art exhibitors, was never going to be defeated by his gingerness, poor eyesight and lack of hearing in one ear. But this childhood, which Ed describes as "slightly depressing", instilled in him balls of steel and a wicked sense of humour (hence why he now wears a lot of orange).

"I remember during the yoyo craze my mum wouldn't spend £8 and made me one out of jam jar lids and string. Can you imagine taking that to school? But now I see it was cool and I realise how amazing my parents are for not giving me that stuff - all the kids I knew with everything aren't really in a good place right now." It was a chance meeting with Damien Rice that led to the then 11-year old Ed's foray into songwriting. Meeting his idol backstage at a gig in Ireland he heeded Rice's words of advice and wrote his first song the next day. Soon after he began selling CD's, recorded on an eight track in the confines of his bedroom, with the initial earnings going on Coca Cola and Twix's. His first five-track EP, The Orange Room, came not long after, but It was during the summer holidays, aged just 14, armed with the support of his parents, a backpack, guitar and a spare set of underwear, that he headed to London for the summer holidays. A chance meeting with Julian Simmons (Guillemots), in a Limehouse studio, led to Ed's self-titled debut album been born, with another Simmons-produced release, Want Some?, following a year later.

Adding to his repertoire, beat boxing, rapping and the loop pedal became a staple part of his formula. Garnering the attention of a large management company, he soon became a regular face on the acoustic circuit (despite frequently having to sneak in the back door due to his youthful stature). By this point he'd also landed a job as a roadie with Nizlopi ('JCB Song'), jetting off at every opportunity to change their guitar strings. "I did a cover of one of their tracks on YouTube which they saw and liked. They invited me to join them on tour and I learnt everything I know about singing, song-writing and live music from them." Other musical influence comes from hearing his parents playing The Beatles, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Planxty on road trips, and personal favourites like Foy Vance, Nizlopi and anything with hip hop credentials. Despite his hectic diary leaving little time to study, Ed managed to bag his GCSE's, including five A's and an A*, and still excels in the arts, with jewelry craft one of his few hobbies.

With formal education on a back burner, it was the 16-year old Ed who became a resident of London town. Meeting producer and songwriter Jake Gosling on his first day, recording began immediately, with his track about moving, 'The City', going on to feature MC Scorcher and receiving heavy rotation on 1Xtra. Tinchy Stryder's co-hort's Ruff Sqwad called not long after, requesting Ed to star on 'Without You'. Gigging daily for the entirety of his first year in the Big Smoke, he performed at integral nights like Soundbites, alongside the likes of Mr Hudson, Joe Driscoll, Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly and Jamie Woon, selling albums to get by. Support slots ensured for The Noisettes, Jay Sean, Gabriella Cilmi and Nizlopi, further boosting his CV. With 100's of songs on his hard drive, 2009 saw the road testing of the new material begin with another 312 gigs in the diary. Celebrity fans now range from Goldie ("I've been working with him ever since we met at a gig"), Pixie Lott (who's also a good friend) to Wiley, Example and Elton John.

One of the more random twists in Ed's career came when Just Jack rang inviting him on his national tour. After the Shepherds Bush show meeting requests from Guy Chambers and the head of Universal Publishing led to Ed parting company with his management team. Three months later he launched the Loose Change EP and in January this year signed to the same management as musical moguls Lily Allen and Just Jack. Having recently discovered the art of grime, Ed is pulling in fresh influence and looking to collaborate with a number of the scene's stalwart fixtures as well as jetting off to LA to work with Iglu & Hartly. Demonstrating his ability to re-jig songs of any genre with his Martin guitar, a recent song filmed for infamous online street music channel, SB.TV, has garnered 20,000 views in a week. "I feel like the lovechild of Damien Rice and Jay-Z, but not quite! My dream is to sellout Shepherds Bush. I look at people like Plan B who hasn't had loads of hits but has respect. His album will be listened to in a decade and that's what I want. Respect."
Foy Vance
Foy Vance
Foy Vance was born in the North Ireland town of Bangor, but his passion for traditional music was born in the southern states of America. As a child, Foy relocated with his father, a preacher, to the American Midwest settling in Oklahoma. With his father, Foy travelled the American South, widening his horizons and absorbing the rich musical traditions he was exposed to. Returning to Ireland some years later, Foy began writing his own music, deeply shaped by the sounds of his youth. Since those days, he has spent a considerable amount of time on the road, touring with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Michael Kiwanuka, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, and Ed Sheeran. Foy also scored Oscar-winning short-film The Shore with David Holmes, who collaborated with Vance on his 2012 Melrose EP. Foy’s newest album, Joy Of Nothing, will be released this year.

With his latest album, “Joy Of Nothing,” – the first effort for his new label Glassnote (home of Mumford & Sons, Phoenix and more) – Foy Vance has crafted a masterwork of the sweet hurt of love and what it does to the men and women involved with all of the fallout. Vance works with those familiar refrains of finding and holding onto a guiding light, of falling back on one’s resiliency (with the backing vocal help of Bonnie Raitt on the excellent cut, “You and I”), of shutting off from the world and living behind guarded emotional walls, of knowing the contents of one’s soul better than anyone else ever could and of ripping everything up, throwing the scraps into the air and just going for whatever gusto might still be left to have in this life of such short terms.

Foy has been writing about these spectacular miseries for years. Since his debut, “Hope,” in 2007, Vance has made the flutter and flail of happiness his chief export. That record ended with his now nine-year-old daughter Ella singing a hidden track version of “You Are My Sunshine,” a song that famously includes mention of the gray skies, if only to punctuate the sunshine and its effects. He uses this same method to describe both the birth and death of love, many times over. Vance is moved by the fractions of love and sentiment, giving himself over to the quiet deluge. His is a voice that rattles you and forces you to let it in so that you may all enjoy a dark room, a modest fire and something to toast with.

“Joy of Nothing” is a record that makes love feel like the most alive and powerful force in the world. It presents a collection of 10 stories that show -- with rousing, tear-the-sky-out-of-the-ceiling and all of the bodies out of the ground passion and equally impassioned tenderness – how everyone chooses their own verses. They often find their ways to tragic ends, but Vance reminds us constantly that we reap what we sow and sometimes we’re reaping very little. He presents the sadness that we find in our coffers as something valuable, as something that shouldn’t be dismissed as failure. He presents the sadness that he’s collected as rich with importance – with as much significance to his happiness as anything else.

The songs on “Joy Of Nothing” are all heartbreakers. They are uplifting in their many forms of destruction. Vance presents to us broken love and trampled upon happiness in a way that makes us want more of it, as if it is exactly what we should be looking for. He gives us people who aren’t fine, but will be all right in the end. You can sense that they will find happiness when it’s meant for them. They will burden their hearts and they will rid them of the black smoke that comes from fried wires and belts, when the entire spirit feels like it’s breaking down. These are anthems that remind us that the spirit always rebounds. Vance just hugs tight the loved ones that haven’t left and he twists the corners of his mustache a little tighter, reveling in the light pinks and soft oranges of his many twilights, braced for another verse.
Venue Information:
Radio City Music Hall
1260 6th Avenue
New York, NY, 10020
http://www.radiocity.com