In 2014 Ben Coyle-Larner supported Joey Badass at Manchester Academy and joked one day that he’d sell out the venue under his own moniker, Loyle Carner. Three years on, off the back of a triumphant debut album, he can’t believe it’s become reality, puffing out his cheeks in disbelief at every wave of applause that hits him. “I love Manchester with all my heart” he beams striding out to Yesterday’s Gone opener ‘Isle of Arran’, the cover of which hangs tall behind him, friends and family watching over him.
His DJ and producer Rebel Kleff pins the show together, weaving a buffed up ‘Stars and Shards’ into one of Carner’s early skits, ‘Mufasa’. “We have an album out now and I can safely say if it wasn’t for this man it wouldn’t happen” Carner shouts, bigging up Kleff who steps out from behind the decks for an emotionally charged version of ‘No Worries‘, as UK hip hop legend Jehst joins them onstage, but it’s only a taster for the clattering ‘No CD’.
As chants ring around of “Loyle, Loyle”, Carner jokes he may move to Manchester, the city which housed his late step-father’s love of football and the reason he waves his Cantona shirt around at gigs. “He promised me we were gonna tour the world one day” Carner explains promising he won’t get emotional, before ending the show on his album closer ‘Sun of Jean’. As Carner exits, the album backdrop comes to life, with his mother delivering a tear-jerking poem about her hard-grafting son, not a dry eye left in the house.
See the moments captured below:
Photos by Ethan Weatherby.