Philadelphian native Kurt Vile hit the dizzy heights of Manchester’s newest venue on Monday evening. Taking to the stage at New Century hall, the indie folk rocker performed to a sold out audience with his backing band as part of his latest European tour.
The former War On Drugs lead guitarist appeared subdued as he arrived on stage and launched into his first song, ‘Place of OKV in Reverse’. Vile has been been struck by tragedy recently, having lost band mate Rob Laakso who succumbed to cancer aged just 44 last month. The mood is uneasy at times, with Vile making awkward small talk between songs. At times he comes across painfully shy in his communication, but comes into his own when he is performing. Certainly not a natural celebrity, which is quite refreshing.
Rousing slightly after the initial quiet start, Vile continued to work his way though a 16 song set list, all his own work, barring one cover, a John Prine cover, the country tune ‘How Lucky’.
Vile and co are far from your stereotypical rock stars. Understated and dressed down, they could almost be compared to a bunch of mates hanging out in a rehearsal room than on a large stage in one of Manchester’s finest venues.
At the end of the set, the audience demand more, and eager to please the band return for a short encore, finishing the evening with ‘Cool Water’ a Neil Young inspired ballad, easy going and the perfect end to an evening of easy rock.
Further information about Kurt Vile’s tour and music can be found HERE