For four days this week, Manchester is the home of folk music as various venues around the city play host to some of the folk scene’s biggest names. Billy Bragg, This is the Kit, and Eliza Carthy & the Wayward Band will all be performing sets throughout the city.
The festival opened Thursday night at the Ritz with a set from singer/song writer Will Varley, who is currently in the midst of a UK tour. The London based artist has just finished a tour of the USA, Europe and various festival appearances, to huge commercial and critical acclaim.
Varley’s current tour is in support of his 5th studio album Sprit of Minnie and tonight’s show at the Ritz is a brief showcase of what fans can expect from his current tour and if tonight’s show is an indication, then they’re in for a treat.
The show has something for everyone, from political and social commentary in the haunting, The Man Who Fell to Earth, to scathing self-examination, through to good-natured humour in tunes such as I Got This Mail.
The set shifts from Varley backed by full band and him flying solo: Varley has a truly exquisite voice that can command and hold a room, as we go glide effortlessly from an audience in reverence during his more serious output, to having the crowd sing-along as if it at a huge stadium gig.
Varley’s show is like a rollercoaster filled with exhilarating highs and lows, that will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear, and then looking at your feet in sombre reflection within the blink of an eye. He is certainly a talent, and one worth catching when he plays live.
Will Varley is currently on tour, Tickets can be bought here.