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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

Morganway - Buckle & Boots 2021 - The Main Stage

If ever a reminder was to come of exactly what has been missing from our lives over the last 14 months then it arrived the moment that Morganway took to the stage. The very incarnation of what it is that attracts people to visit live music, excitement, musicianship and sheer unadulterated joy.

Let's face facts - these were the true headliners of Sunday night and from the moment they took to the stage, the world for an hour or so seemed that much better a place to be, even the sun came out and bathed the Buckle & Boots crowd with its rays and as Kieran fired up the intro to "Devils Canyon" and Nicole primed her violin bow and prepared to stomp her heart out - something special was about to happen.

In truth it was even more spectacular than usual SJ & Callum firing out their vocals, Ed pummeling his drum kit, Nicole shredding some of the strings on her bow leaving them flying around in the breeze. With Matt's organ also coming through clear in the mixand the multitude of backing vocals this could not have been a better reintroduction to their talents.

The Morganway team had been variously soaking up the festival atmosphere since Friday night and this was now their chance to shine. SJ now equipped with a shiny blue guitar immediately introduced us to the first of a number of new songs "Come Over".

Immediately there was lots to take in, Kierans guitar work, more atmospheric that in its usual role of driving the song forward. SJ's vocals varying from dreamy to full on banshee.

A swift return to a familiar stalwart in "My Love Ain't Gonna Save You". once again acted as a reminder to how key the relationship between Nicoles violin and Kierans guitar is to the bands overall dynamic

The next new song was "Back To Zero" immediately opening at a frenzied pace, Nicole providing a prominent violin line, layers of vocals, SJ once again firing out fearsome lead vocals - lots to take in all of it marvellous.

A song that had just started to make it onto the Morganway set pre pandemic was "The Man", introduced as "dark and moody".. it saw SJ discard her guitar and opt for a handheld microphone approach throughout. Once again much to take in as the song building in intensity to the ultimate climax of guitar, fiddle, vocals and stomp!,

It was Ed Bullinger on drums who would lead us into the next song which began with SJ reeling off and reminding us all just how great a weekend it had been. SJ announced that we'd know it but anyone who who guessed from the opening few bars that we were heading into an Alanis Morrisette cover of "You Oughta Know" surely deserved a prize. Beefed up with Nicole's fiddle, Kieran's guitar and Ed's ferocious drumming while SJ had never sounded more terrifying!

Audience participation was the order of the day for "When The World Stopped Running" which came with a refrain that the audience were soon chanting which is always a good sign. Callum leading the vocals on a song likely to be a staple of the set for some time to go if this reaction was anything to go by.

From here on in it was the Morganway tour de force, the epic "Frozen In Our Time" with the B&B lighting team doing a magnificent job lighting SJ.

"Let Me Go" had a magical moment of SJ and Kieran facing off against each other with Kieran wielding his "Flying V" shaped guitar, while "London Life" was the glorious stomp that it always is, turning the B&B crowd into a dancing blur. Such was the exertion

that SJ was left breathless as she headed into the final introduction .


In the end it was drummer Ed who introduced the traditional curtain closer of "Hurricane" in tact complete with the individual farewell solos and Callum's final trademark spin, We were of course left with the usual problem that one faces after seeing Morganway - when we can go and see them again!!! for Country in The Afternoon

Morganway will return to a London stage at the Half Moon for Country in The Afternoon Sept 12th - we of course will be there!!




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