Line up: Will Varley / Molly’s Lips
Venue: The Bodega (Nottingham)
Date: Feb 20 2016
Review By: Kate Morley
Photos By: Kate Morley (MORE HERE)
Will Varley played a solo headline show at the Bodega on a cold rainy Saturday evening in February. The weather didn’t stop people from attending and the venue was packed to the rafters as the show had sold out a few weeks in advance. Molly’s Lips, a Folk Duo from Deal, Kent, were an excellent warm up to Will. They had a great interaction with the crowd and performed a number of songs from their new CD.
The crowd in the Bodega were quite a mixed bag; there were younger students and people who were well in to their 50s. This is good to see at gigs and it is clear Will appeals to a broad range of people.
Will came on to a roar of cheer and applause, he opened with As for My Soul which is also the first track on his new album Postcards from Ursa Minor. His songs take an approach to relevant current affairs, politics and the normal humdrum of life. He does have some more serious songs such as The Man Who Fell to Earth which tells the story of a Jose Mataca whose body was found after falling from a BA flight from Africa while illegally trying to gain entry to the UK. The song is a powerful and a relevant piece of social commentary when you consider the efforts people still are currently making to gain entry to the UK.
Will does have a humorous side which manifests through the songs such as Talking Cat Blues and I Got This Email. In performing these songs it furthered the great rapport Will built with the crowd. Although, it wouldn’t be hard for Will to build said rapport as, as soon as he hits the stage he has a smile on his face, his facial expressions are hilarious and his interaction is fantastic.
Will brought Molly’s Lips back on stage with him for four songs and added the bass and keys to his acoustic guitar, this was a nice touch and gave the evening something that was a little different. The three of them played together like they were a well-established band and this worked really well.
Will came back on his own for an encore in which to the cr
owds delight played King for King and I Got This Email; his most well-known tracks. By the end of I Got This Email, he had everyone singing along, the whole venue was alive and pretty much every person in the crowd had a huge smile on their face.
Many people came to the gig having seen Will support Frank Turner in Rock City in November. However, there were quite a few who had not heard much of his music but had been told that Will was excellent and put on a good show. The vast majority of people in that room that night would have gone home a Will Varley fan.
I quickly caught up with Will at the end of the gig as I wanted to ask him about his upcoming summer. He said he wasn’t at liberty to say as of yet as to where he would be playing but, he would be playing many festivals which he was looking forward to. When asking him where his favourite places to play live were he said Nottingham was up there in his favourites as everyone seems to love live music and that Nottingham has an excellent live music scene.
It was a very enjoyable evening and it is encouraged that next time Will is in town, you go check him out.