Pop music has been stale for a while now. Most of what is seen in the charts has been written by a handful of the same writers, and some singular songs have been written by a handful of writers. It’s quite refreshing when someone comes along like Rae Morris who writes her own music, and delights us all in doing so.
On the 10th of February she entertained the basement of Brighton’s Komedia, and did so in fine fashion. Those that had heard only on record were visibly amazed that she sounds identical live, with her lusciously smooth vocals filling the room with joy. Whilst most people couldn’t see her, as she sits to play her keyboard, everyone could hear her. Her voice soared above the rest of her band, and perhaps a bit too much so when support FRYARS took to the stage again for a duet. He was particularly quiet, but no-one would dare complain. The backing band deserved the recognition Rae gave them, it’s a rare sight to see a female drummer, and she was regardless of her gender excellent company for Rae. Her voice mimics Rae in almost every way, providing backing and harmonies throughout the night. I’ve also never seen someone play the double bass standing up. Now I know what it looks like, like they have someone hostage – perhaps the audience?
Her singles definitely stood out the most, with ‘Under The Shadows’ closing the encore, and ‘Do You Even Know?’ towards the end of the main set. These were the highlights of the night, but there were no fillers so to speak, only the finest cuts from her debut album and her earlier EP work. Her medley of piano with rhythmic bass and the occasional slide or ambient guitar did help separate her from the many other acts that have performed in Brighton in recent times. She is by no means a traditional frontwoman, too. She isn’t one for bold claims and self-indulgence on stage. Neither is she flamboyant or perhaps confident – but this is her first sold-out tour, which in comparison to her last visit to Brighton, she was keen to point out she only sold 10 tickets in advance.
Modest, yet thoroughly enjoyable, Rae’s music will no doubt be the soundtrack to some people’s year and it should play at least a part in yours too.
By Harry Barnes