Morganway, Lucy Grubb at The Birdcage 16 December 2015. Ho Ho HOST III at Cinema City 15 December 2015.
One of my favourite bands at the moment is Morganway. Great songs, super sound which is both full (considering there are no drums and for the most part no bass) and yet also spacious with a cinematic quality and a singer with a truly special voice, Yve Mary B. I’ve seen them in quite a few acoustic settings recently so this was a nice opportunity to hear them with a more punchy PA. It was a good atmosphere in The Birdcage, albeit hot and humid, for a gig put on by Future Radio dj Richard Harrison.
Morganway sounded sublime and the applause after every song was louder and louder. A nice touch which I really loved was a number with a country singer from Cambridge, SJ Mortimer, which they performed off mic and off stage. It was beautiful.
The rest of their set included a couple of covers, one a Springsteen song, the other Joni Mitchell’s River in a nod to the festive season. This is a band really on the top of their game, tight and melodic and just an absolute joy to listen to.
Support was from singer songwriter Lucy Grubb with acoustic guitar whom I first saw almost two years ago at a FolkSpot gig in The Blueberry whilst she was still at school. She was a standout then but her development and progress since is incredible. She too included one or two covers, a John Mayall song and Johnny Cash’s ‘Jackson’ lightening the mood and received to whoops and hollers. It was her own songs for me though that I enjoyed the most, one cannot help but wonder where some of those lyrics are coming from, she’s obviously another ‘old soul’ with a huge talent for expressive songwriting.
The previous night was the third Ho Ho HOST evening, the Christmas OST celebration at Cinema City. I’d somehow forgotten the format of “one original, one Christmas” song and was enjoying Eastern Seaboard so much that the set finishing after a couple of tracks rather caught me by surprise. It was a lovely event though with appearances from the likes of Bark Prelude (“I like Christmas with cheese” before playing Mud’s Lonely This Christmas), Al Southgate, Birds of Hell, Ben C. Winn, and the Male Boys Christmas Choir, who were really good but funny with pints in hand and the occasional expletive muttered at a dropped hymn sheet!
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