What a difference a couple of months can make, a return for Morganway to the venue where they made such a impression in November, saw them return to a crowd that significantly were there just for them Buoyed by two stunning sets at the recent C2C Festival, and word of mouth from their recent single "Frozen In Our Time" this was to be a truly triumphant return.
Part of a 4 band showcase evening, this was to be a high octane, 6 song, 30 minute dip into their catalogue.
From the opening chords from Kieran Morgan's guitar and the reassuring thumping backbeat from drummer Ed Bullinger, we were immediately thrown into "Devil's Canyon", with both Callum Morgan on bass and vocals and SJ Mortimer on vocals and tambourine making a formidable presence.at the front of the stage.
The Morganway sound is not easy to define, taking inspiration from many sources yet remaining to be refreshing and unique, With SJ exchanging her tambourine for a guitar, it was on to "My Love Ain't Gonna Save You" with the ever stomping Nicole Terry's violin deliciously high in the mix, another key feature in the Morganway experience.. With Callum having switched from acoustic to bass guitar in recent live shows the overall sound now seems even more rounded filling 229 with effortless ease.
Only two songs in and the venue was already starting to swelter and there was to be no let up with the Johnny Marr like intro into "Let Me Go". This is one of the real fusion songs with Keiran's guitar going into a furious solo, while SJ moved into full banshee mode, and Nicole's playing and stomping hit new heights. The chorus with everyone bar the drummer joining in on the "Let Me Go's" is a sight to behold.
There was time for a slowdown in pace with the 6 minute plus epic of "Frozen In Our ime" , from its relatively mellow start taking us on a journey that will end once again with all 5 vocalists making a powerful impression, SJ's vocals throughout were never short of amazing as she is able to turn from being tender and quiet into full on rock chick at a moments notice.
From the epic to the sublime with "London Life" another high speed fusion of about 3 different musical styles at once, with Nicoles violin again prominent never more so than on her own manic solo. It's always good to see a band smiling as they play and during this song the band all had huge grins for they knew how good this was sounding, such was the effort expounded that it ended with SJ literally gasping out of breath.
With just one song left to play there could only be one finale the new single "Hurricane", opening with those early REM chords, this song is designed to blow any doubters ( not that there were any ) away!. Each member gets a chance to shine and it is here that keyboard player Matt Brocklehust, come to the fore pummeling the keys.
So much goes on during just this song that is almost impossible to capture it all in one review, SJ's vocals simply soar with backing from the rest of the team, Nicole and Kieran both throw in great solos, Nicole's bow by now almost shredded from the friction created playing, while Callum on bass spinning round and eventually powering out the last few notes while on his knees.The whole set eventually brought to a close with a powerful crash from the back of the stage
Such has been the response to their performances that they are now in a residency at 229 and will return once more in May for another unmissable event.