Photo: Ros Metcalfe
March 10 2016
Words: Izzy B
Whether he's exactly your thing or not, there's no getting away from Kurt Vile has built up a cult following over the last years; enough to warrant a headline slot at London's Roundhouse with his Violators band.
Still something of a mainstream outsider, the fact that he has a following was evidenced by his playing a venue of this size and by the weight of his fanbase numbers. Not, it has to be said, that Kurt Vile's style will be the favoured tipple of many and certainly not if you're looking for an all-out rockin' night, for the Philadelphian is more something to be savoured than gulped down the throat in one.
With unhurried melodies and a vocal drawl of the laid-back variant, Vile manages to entice an audience into his lair in the most subtle of ways. 'Goldtone' sees him opining “You’d think I was stoned / But I never, as they say, touch the stuff”, in a way so aching of something going on. And he stays locked in this somnambulant state for pretty much the whole set, except for brief forays outside of, like 'Freak Train' - with a sax solo stuck inside of it - where he hollers in his nasal twang over rhythms hauled from down south.
Playing 'Wakin' On A Pretty Daze' in its entirety, along with its follow-up, 'B’lieve I’m Goin Down', show Vile is defined by his abject lyricism, rather than his stage presence.