Liverpool Sound City: Kurt Vile and the Violators, Clinic, Willy Mason, Entrepreneurs: The Kazimier, Bombed Out Church


Kurt Vile offers a masterclass in understated billowing desert rock, Getintothis’ Neil Jones is made to wait, but boy, was it worth it.

Life is full of rules isn’t it.
Don’t eat with your mouth full. Don’t double text that girl you met last night. Definitely don’t tell her you love her. And don’t play backwards from the baulk line please. Ever.
Another of these pesky laws states the following; if you keep people waiting, you’d better have a bloody good reason, sunshine.
Kurt Vilekept us waiting. The sound check which should usually take five minutes took at least thirty, and by the time Vile and his Violators finally took to the stage, the crowd was three bevies drunker (and using false words like ‘drunker’) and the band’s hair had taken a distinctly Anita Dobson-turn.
Ok so Kurt’s hair is like that anyway, but you get my drift. They kept us waiting.
And why? Well, as luck would have it, it turns out they had a very good reason, sunshine. The reason, it seems, is that this is a band which enjoys playing good music. It doesn’t want their hard work spoiled by haphazard sound quality and lazy workmanship.
So they perfected it, they tweaked it, they demanded more from their sound men. And they got it.
And when they started, we all rejoiced that they had.
Because, ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Vile and the Violators are absolutely fantastic.
Yeah, they look like the rejects from Bill and Ted. Yeah one of them is called Kurt. But who cares when he is spitting tracks as smooth as nutella?
Aged 31, and signed in 2009, Vile has been steadily building up a strong following, using the good old fashioned means of having good songs, as opposed to sneaky marketing and publicity.
Indeed, by the time he was on stage in the Kazimier, the venue was far from full. If I can get served within fiveminutes it means I’m doing well. I was served within one here.
Meanwhile, Kurt was giving the Sound City crowd the best performance of the first 48 hours. He may look like he had Aerosmith posters on his wall, but his style is far removed.
So he plays the songs which made ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo‘ such a success, and he plays them in a manner which explains why the album was a success. He isn’t the most engaging or charismatic, but then people say Bono is charismatic, and I know who I’d rather watch.
Baby’s Arms, Society Is My Friend, and Jesus Fever get belted out, and even the annoying Welsh bint stood by me starts to enjoy herself. She spent the sound check yelling obscenities and making clever jokes about Kurt being, wait for it, Vile, but even she is hooked, singing away in a vaguely Gavin and Stacey twang.
With his rolling canyon like guitar and hypnotic landscape of fuzz, Vile and co stand head and shoulders above anything I’ve seen at LSC this year. They are heading for the top.
Incidentally, earlier in the evening I’d been treated to a quality gig, hosted by none other than Getintothis, at the Bombed Out Church.
The Kopparberg is in plastic glasses – ‘like drinking ale from a condom’ – unlike the evening previously, and people are still getting turned away from a semi-full venue, but what a gig. Clinic absolutely rip it up, and make a mockery of the fact that the Kooks headlined that stage the previous night (Ok, I’m being harsh on the Kooks, but they are ten-a-penny, bands like Clinic are not).
Later on I take in a hit of Willy Mason and yes he’s still got it. The voice is intact, and Oxygen sounds better now than it did all those years ago. Then Entrepreneurs throw a damn good warm up for Vile, albeit one unaided by the general lethargy of a Kazimier crowd that was obviously still weary from The Whip last night.
Anyway, if you haven’t listened to Kurt Vile yet, do so. And if anyone tells you they’ll just be five minutes longer, let them. It might just be worth the wait.