LIVE REVIEW: Will Varley @ Rough Trade East

Having previously opened for the likes of Frank Turner and embarked on his own massively sold-out tour of the UK, British folk-artist Will Varley returned back to the infamous venue to promote his album, ‘Spirit of Minnie’, which was released earlier this month.

The venue itself felt nostalgic for the lyrics Varley sang. Surrounded by the epitome of Independent and Alternative music in the heart of London, Rough Trade East accompanied the stories of a budding musician who sang of the nights he waited in St Pancras station at 3am, waiting for the next train home.

With a copy of ‘Spirit of Minnie’ in one hand as a set list and a beer in the other, Varley sang to a dimly lit room with the bittersweet nostalgia that one could expect with such a poignant album.

Introducing each song with its short backstory firmly placed, the audience with a personal connection to each of the songs which made the setlist thoroughly enjoyable. With his humour and honestly, Varley admits four songs in that he’s unsure of the guitar chords and lyrics to ‘Breaking the Bread’ and so moves swiftly onto the emotionally charged ‘Statues’.

After talking with the crowd in-between each song and telling stories of his musician days. Varley reaches the last few songs and asks – “How long have I got?”. Recognisable members of the crowd answer ’20 songs’ and ‘all night’, and Varley confirms he will play two old songs after finishing the setlist. Playing ‘King for a King’ moved perfectly onto ‘Seize the Night’, an anthem for the masses who would head into Brick Lane that Tuesday night, ready to make memories – with friends, family members and lovers – that they would never forget .

Varley ended the night by signing fans albums and by drinking in the venue. Overall, the raw emotion of the new album was perfectly complemented by the humour and charisma of the man himself.

You can purchase Will Varley’s new album ‘Spirit of Minnie’ on iTunes here.

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