After pressing pause for a few years between albums, Lousia Rose Allen, known by the stage name Foxes, returned triumphantly with her fourth studio album, The Kick. The record is a danceable ode to life and pop music, which translated into a jubilant performance on Wednesday, March 2, in North London’s Islington Assembly Hall.
You could never have told it was almost six years to the day since Foxes last headline show in London because she has lost none of her pizazz for live performances.
The years between her last full-length album, All I Need, and The Kick were transformative for Allen. She stepped away from her major-label deal with Sony Music to find more creative freedom by releasing music on an indie label, PIAS.
Allen’s new music feels somewhat rebellious when you know it was written during the lockdown. However, when many looked inwards, it felt like Allen decided to dance her way through even the most challenging times.
Even the slower, more introspective songs on the album are performed in a way that makes them smooth and approachable; they make you reflect without being overly melancholic or taking away from the euphoric feeling of the night.
Allen’s newfound indie-label freedom does not mean she has completely cut ties with the past. The first song she wrote, “Youth”, and her Grammy-winning breakthrough collaboration with Zedd, “Clarity”, both make it onto the set. They are performed with a sense of restraint. The latter played acoustically before a bombastic performance of “Sister Ray” to close out the show’s encore.
On what for many would have been their first live show since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Foxes delivered a show to remind us that we made it through, and that now is the time to dust off our dancing shoes again.
Photography by Robert Alleyne