Festivals: Kurt Vile soundtracks the sunset at Latitude 2016

Latitude 2016: Kurt Vile

A self-facing but charming set helps close day two.

Kurt Vile could play for days, between sunrise and sunset, without getting bored. His lengthy, exploratory rock eases itself in at the BBC Radio 6 Music tent. It’s easy to drift off, given his self-facing schtick, foot-long hair draped over his face. But once nestled in to these songs, it feels like being lifted up and carried away to another place.

On record, Kurt’s music crawls into strange spaces, a lazy-day vibe coated in invention. It’s more celebratory when played live. Between songs he belts out “woop!” exclamations, clearly enjoying himself. It’s not completely replicated, with most in the tent lounging on their backs as the evening sets in. But that’s not the sort of thing to phase this musician, someone who could play to thousands or nobody at all while staying perfectly happy.

In a small setting, this would be marvelling. But wen there’s a distance and a bunch of uninterested people, a disconnect sets in. Kurt Vile is up there with some of the most naturally gifted musicians, but festivals aren’t quite his perfect setting.

Latitude 2016: Kurt Vile
Latitude 2016: Kurt Vile

Photos: Poppy Marriott.

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