Buckle & Boots 2018 - Main Stage - Morganway
Last years surprise package were the wonderful Morganway who were easily the best "new" band to appear last year. Their hard work and exceptional live set was obviously appreciated as they were propelled forward from last years early afternoon slot to be the penultimate act on the opening night. In the intervening 12 months there have been a number of personnel changes but the essence and core spirit of the band remains and if anything this year they were even stronger with seemingly more players than ever.
They were also looking slightly more well heeled than last year with front man Callum Morgan looking rather dapper in his blue suit. It should be noted that the term front man in no way does Morganway justice, at any given time up to five and possibly more singers were singing at once not even necessarily the same thing to make a quite a wall of sound. With SJ Mortimer also belting out some ferocious lead female vocals while holding a tambourine, an already great evening was about to go stellar.
From the violin intro to "Devil's Canyon" this was to be a real storming set, possibly not quite as the band had originally intended as technical issues meant that Callum was unable to use his acoustic guitar and ended up delivering the set on his electric guitar. "Devils Canyon" develops into a fearsome noise with a thunderous drumbeat, mass chanting and a host of other things happening instrumentally - making it an absolute tour de force to watch. Followed by the equally incessant "My Love Ain't Gonna Save You" i'm not sure many in the crowd had seen anything like them but such is the presence they create that the soon had a large number of new fans.
Things changed pace with the fast guitar intro into "Let Me Go", also powered along with furious drum beat, that was to segue into a super charged version of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain". One of the bands newer songs "The First Day" once again at any time saw 2, 3 4 or 5 people simultaneously singing and also found time to squeeze in a violin solo. It was only to be a relatively short seven song set but with songs like "London Life" which seemed to fuse about three genres and four bands into one three minute song were nothing short of breathtaking and the closer "Hurricane" once again had elements of early REM guitar riffs about it and concluded with lead singer Callum spinning like a top in circles and SJ hitting a great final note. As a band performance it was nigh on faultless
This band are truly something special and surely destined for much bigger things, they generate such electricity and atmosphere and tonight was an absolute pleasure to watch.