Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Live Review :: Kurt Vile & The Violators :: Concorde 2, Brighton - Nov 5 2018


Kurt Vile & The Violators

Concorde 2, Brighton

November 5 2018

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

At the end of the seafront nestled between the Victorian passageways of Kemptown and well, the sea, sits the cavernous Concorde 2 venue space, which tonight is playing host to American singer-songwriter Kurt Vile plus The Violators, together for their first shows in almost two years.

With a sold out venue ready to get down and tune into the seam of seven albums over the last ten years from which they have at their disposal to mine from, including a newly released album ‘Bottle It In’ to support, as Vile comes onto the stage offering a “bring the love, man!" to the crowd,
he’s greeted as a local hero after playing here solo last year.

Starting with ‘Loading Zones’ from ‘Bottle It In’, it soon gets the crowd looking for the illegal moonshine as they start whooping and hollowing (yes, that really happened), as they get into its guitar hooks and soft beats. From the new, he moves next into ‘Jesus Fever’ from his 2011 album, 'Smoke Ring for My Halo', with its hints of religious love and death envelopes all around as the melody pulls you in. During ‘Girl Called Alex’ Kurt picks up an acoustic guitar and finger plucks the melody while Jesse Trbovich plays the lead, followed later by Kurt playing a lovely solo acoustic on 'Runner Ups'.

It’s only five songs in and I’ve already counted seven guitar changes, from the side of stage I can see even more laying in wait. Probably their best known song, ‘Waking on a Pretty Day’, sends the crowd go into a trance with its riffs and slow basslines of Rob Laakso, as its slow, meandering lyrics totally chills the room.

‘Wild Imagination’ ends the 13-song set with Kyle Spence’s drums rolling in the background while Kurt sings about online disconnection from the real world. The band's forté is playing lo-fi Americana songs with lyrics that actually make you think seriously about life, but at the same time allows you to come to your own conclusions.

As they leave the stage the audience starts to stomp their feet on the wooden boards so loud that the band has really no choice but to return for an encore. For this they bring out a double whammy of the very catchy, slow burning ‘Pretty Pimpin’ with its ranging guitar riff, and the acoustic guitar-led ‘Mutinies’ taken from the new album.

Then with a flick of his long hair, Kurt has left the building with the happy crowd hoping to get one more song, but alas, they shall have to wait till next time. I leave humbled by a man I knew little about - apart from their provocative band name - and just glad I have found a new friend in Kurt Vile.

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