On March 4th, The Joiners, Southampton was host to folk sensation Will Varley. This is just one stop on the singer’s UK tour for his latest album, Postcards from Ursa Minor. His last two tours received rave reviews from The Independent and Varley has been described by Frank Turner, as ‘one the best singer-songwriters in the UK’. Also the co founder of Smugglers record label, it was no surprise Varley’s performance was a sold out event with a variety of ages in the audience.
Joining him on the night was Molly’s Lips, an Icelandic folk-pop duo that set the scene with their gentle harmonies and use of melody. Next to the stage was duo Xylaroo. Sisters Coco and Holly Chant’s songwriting ability is both engaging and fearless in tackling serious subjects. Their song ‘Sunshine’ particularly captivated me and the audience, as well as innovative cover of Arctic Monkey’s ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.’
With the crowd warmed up in Southampton’s intimate venue it was time for Will Varley to take to the stage to an uproar of cheers. Varley sang a variety of tracks from his latest album, Postcards from Ursa Minor, as well as crowd favorites, such as, ‘The Self Checkout Shuffle’ and ‘Talking Cat Blues’.
There are few artists who can transition so seamlessly from social commentary and politics to comical tracks and while pushing the boundaries of the ‘man and his guitar’ set up. Varley’s song, ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ had thought provoking lyrics, and was notably touching, and all of the crowd sang along to ‘We Don’t Believe You’.
Varley’s energetic and comical input makes every performance both unique and enjoyable. His interaction with the audience is effortless and demonstrates a mutual appreciation, including him holding a vote to which tracks he would sing and even passing a fiver through the crowd for the person at the back to get him his beloved Guinness – which surprisingly returned with change.
Varley expressed his love to the Southampton crowd throughout and treated them to new track he had been working on, before welcoming back Molly’s Lips for collaborative songs to end the show. With just one date left on his tour, on 10th of March, in London, Scala, be sure to check out his social media and witness the talent of this uprising star.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf8qExQVAdA man who fell to earth