Featured image and gallery: Georgina Hurdsfield
After a long-awaited return (four whole years), Loyle Carner was finally back in Manchester on Saturday night, bringing his latest album Hugo to Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. Selling out the 3,500 capacity venue, it was Manchester’s first chance to hear his new music live.
With the stage almost having a cinematic, theatre-like appearance, it was evident this show was going to be an unforgettable experience for everyone in the room.
Backed by his five-piece band, Carner begins with opening-track ‘Hate’, a powerful opening to the set as he stands in the spotlight, sporting a tightly zipped up puffer jacket. The crowd tightly rapped back every word to the singer, it was a reaction that was almost overwhelming, certainly fit for the king of UK alternative hip-hop.
Loyle Carner was unapologetically emotional on stage throughout his set. His openness with the crowd was a breath of fresh air, and fitting for someone whose lyrics are honest, complex and deep, especially with his latest collection of songs.
The new singles transpire well live, and the crowd are seemingly excited by the new tracks. Songs like ‘Plastic’, ‘Polyfilla’ and ‘Speed Of Plight’ clearly being favourites.
‘Blood on My Nikes’ was unforgettable to witness live, lyrics telling a painful story of knife-crime, a close-to-home topic for residents of Manchester at the moment.
With a powerful presence on stage and effortless transitions between songs, Loyle Carner was clearly meant to be a live performer. His performance of tracks old and new was flawless and stunningly beautiful.
‘Loose Ends’ into ‘Ice Water’ was a highlight of the night, the moment was euphoric, a reminder of the importance of witnessing music live, especially artists such as Loyle Carner. Ending the night on a high, Carner performed ‘Ottolenghi’ from previous album, Not Waving, But Drowning.
We’re already counting down the days until Loyle is back on the stage in Manchester, luckily enough, Carner will be returning to Victoria Warehouse for BBC 6 Music Festival as a headliner on Friday 24th March. If you ever get the chance to witness Loyle Carner live, we would highly recommend it.
We’re hoping to see Loyle Carner at an array of festivals this summer, such as on the main stage at Leeds Festival in August. We can certainly see Carner as a future headliner of Manchester’s biggest festival, Parklife.