Vetiver @ YES, Manchester, 8 Dec
Just as Vetiver's Up On High may well be one of the albums of the year, this gig may be one of the most memorable too
The last time Vetiver played in Manchester they played as a full band at the Night & Day. This time around we get frontman Andy Cabic solo, and appreciative. “This is only the fifth time I’ve played like this,” he says after a spirited burst of applause.
He’s touring his latest record Up on High, and we're treated to several of its tracks – ranging from most recent single To Who Knows Where, to album standouts Swaying, Wanted, Never Asked and A Door Shuts Quick. And also a handful of what can only be described as Vetiver classics: The Rolling Sea, Everyday, Hard to Break, Maureen and Been So Long. But it ain’t a Vetiver gig if we don’t get at least two well selected covers.
Tonight we’re treated to Suzanne Vega’s Gypsy (“Solitude Standing still holds up,” Cabic says and who are we to disagree) and Bobby Charles’ Gone Fishing. It’s delicate as hell, and all kinds of transporting. Cabic’s fingers dart the length of his guitar as he tips his head this way and that and the audience quietly swoon. You close your eyes and think, this could be Chet Baker duetting with Nick Drake.
It’s confident, pretty as a daydream; the kind of gig you want available as a live album (think Mark Eitzel’s Songs of Love but infused with lazy summer sunshine). And just as Up on High may well be one of the albums of the year, this gig may be one of the most memorable too.