A little bit of Kentucky came to Komedia to help celebrate Independent Venue Week in the shape of Tyler Childers, the man behind this month’s Purgatory. Its mixture of an old-school country aesthetic allied with a modern grit through Childers’ starkly honest lyrics has been winning hearts on the other side of the Atlantic for some time, but tonight’s show was his first in Brighton. Perfect timing for IVW ’18, the campaign that shines a light on those smaller venues around the country that are the lifeblood of local and breaking artists alike. Purgatory may be the first record to break through over here, but the long years on the road to here showed as Childers put on a show of real class and self-assurance.
Purgatory has been out for a while in Childers’ American homeland, but the UK has long had a strong relationship with all things Americana, country, bluegrass and alt-country; a sometimes misguided rose-tinted nostalgia for an America that isn’t really there, but also an appreciation of the outlaw, outsider, raw and gutsy spirit of these musicians and lyricists. Country music is above all working class, but its central sentiments and aspirations are of course universal.