21 mei 2011

Kurt Vile @ Rotonde - 17 May

Kurt Vile plays a grungy, wall-of-sound rock that reminds me a lot of Dinosaur Jr (always my favourite of the early-90s alternative rock acts). His voice also treads the same fine line between singing and croaking that J Mascis made his own - you're never quite sure if their voices are going to make it through the song or just give up halfway through.


His band has no bass player but the kick drum is so powerful it fills in the lower frequencies. Some songs feature three overdriven guitars while in others he uses an accoustic - sometimes with quite fine finger-picking out of Crosby Stills and Nash. But mostly you're just struck by the power - especially in a great, grungy cover of Bruce Springsteen's 'Downbound Train'.


The support band was Spindrift - who are several shades of awesome. I loved their instrumental rock - from the way their ten-gallon-hatted keyboard player pummelled her tambourine against the decks, to the bass player, channelling Spinal Tap, with the finest twin-necked bass guitar.


Totally gratuitous I'm pretty sure, as I never once saw him play the six-string neck. Their music was a rocked up version of Morricone soundtracks - a Spaghetti Western epic soundscape from twaning guitars to Native American chanting.



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