Country On The Coast Day 1 - Morganway
Heading the bill on Day 1 were Morganway, the up and coming band from East Anglia, currently in the middle of a stream of gigs that has seen them garnering praise and gathering fans at each stop along the way. Blending many genres together to make one of their own, quite happy thrashing out an anthem, to delivering the gentlest of ballads. They have somewhat become the masters of the 7 song, 30 minute set so it was a delight to see them play an extended set with new material, rarely played songs and a new cover. The only blight on the evening being the non appearance of violin player Nicole Terry, a vibrant presence at any Morganway show, with both her playing, which is a cornerstone of the overall band sound, as well as her general movement, whether it be her violin bow being a perpetual blur, or her general stomp and backing vocals. With an injured hand leaving her unable to play, we here at #TEAMw21 wish her a speedy recovery. This did make the evening a (hopefully) unique event, it also meant that for once powerhouse drummer Ed Bullinger was actually visible for the evening.
Their last few performances have been on somewhat restrictively small stages so it was fantastic to see them on a stage befitting of their talents. It was a familiar opening with “Devils Canyon” which saw SJ playing a tambourine ( not the Morganway trademark one though ) while powering out the vocals. Following up with “My Love Ain’t Gonna Save You” the show opened along the familiar lines of a Morganway set.
With the longer playing time, there was reason to play some songs that only rarely get an outing, such as “The First Day” which saw Callum switch his bass for an electric giving us the power of twin guitars. With the keys to the fore this was a great run out for the song including its great stomp and clap finale. Another song getting a rare outing was “Forever Coming Home”, a countryish rock song with the keyboards again allowed to come to the fore.
A chance to to get rowdy saw Callum return to his bass and it was the throbbing bass that really kicked “Let Me Go” in to life followed by Kieran's familiar guitar riff, Ed's superb power drumming and SJ’s high octane vocals. Showing a softer side to Morganway was the new song “Easy Love” which sounded excellent on first hearing. At C2C this year they performed a Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s cover and as it went down so well there was another outing for “Breaking The Girl“.
There was an absolutely brand new song in the shape of “Across This Land” furiously driven by drummer Ed and with a repeated “Oh ah ah” refrain from all 4 vocalists this was another impressive song on first outing. This was after all a Country festival and so what would be more natural than a cover of “Jolene”, except that the Morganway version starting with just Kieran’s guitar was dark and brooding, so dark that you imagine that it ended with Jolene dead in a ditch – no way would she be stealing a man in this version!
The closing three songs were where Nicole’s presence was certainly missed most, “Frozen In Our Time” still sounded great, retaining its epic status but did lack the ethereal moodiness of the strings. Equally the sheer exuberance of “London Life” was still there but definitely her contribution was missed. Closing on the awesome current powerhouse of a single “Hurricane” with Callum incorporating his spinning ( if anything even more than normal) and ending on one knee, this was a set that had many new converts heading to the merch stand and closed out an excellent Day One of Country on the Coast.