REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Kurt Vile violates the hipsters

The creator of 2013's finest record brings it to life...

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile And The Violators Live @ Shepherds Bush Empire 11th December

What is the correct collective noun for hipsters? I went through a few. A gaggle? Not sufficiently derogatory. A cunt? Too degoratory (well, a little). In the end, I settled on a wankstain. So, may I give thanks to the wankstain of hipsters who crowded around the stairs leading into the main auditorium at the Empire, completely (to a bellend) refusing to allow passage until violently shoved, when they look woundedly over their vintage wire-framed spectacles and mutter insults as though they weren’t the ones being completely and utterly unreasonable and selfish. Or, in other words, behaving like hipsters. Oddly enough, the crowding subsides somewhat when you get to the front, what with the pricks behind us being more interested in who else in the crowd can see them and their ironic hair and attire that looks like they fell through a charity shop reject box, but came with a four-figure price tag than the actual band. Their loss; tonight is the very excellent Kurt Vile and the Violators, touring on the back of “Wakin On A Pretty Daze”, this reviewers favourite album of 2013 by a country mile, and they open with the title track and then the best track on there, “KV Crimes”, a louche cross between Beck and Dinosaur Jr, but laced with the country-slacker brilliance which marks Vile out as an artist equal to either. The already-classic “Jesus Fever” follows, but it is only as the band ease into “Girl Named Alex” and “Goldentone” that they really click into gear, the effects-drenched music and lightshow fusing the audience into an ecstatic, hypnotic state. There may be an ‘80’s Megadeth flavour to their hairstyles, but the music – though following a fundamentally different tradition – rocks just as hard in its own way. Vile then gives us a couple of tunes solo, including a mesmeric “Peeping Tomboy” before the band return, really in their stride now. By the time we get to the encore – glorious versions of “Freeway” and “Runners Up” propelled by vast sonic waves – we are drenched in sweat, hoarse from singing along and sated, almost to the degree that it’s unnecessary to kick a few hipsters on the way out. Almost....