London Village Underground
27th March 2013
Blackpool singer-songwriter Rae Morris is slowly but surely building a dedicated following and Louder Than War went to see how her sound is developing at her sold-out show at the Village Underground in London.
Way too many artists with lots of potential these days are simply thrust out into the limelight and expected to deliver a killer album before they’re ready – Peace and Palma Violets being the latest cases in point. Rae Morris is being given the opportunity by Atlantic to develop a sound and amass a bank of material to produce what promises to be a stunning debut album later this year.
Having seen her at the Slaughtered Lamb this time last year then watched her learn her trade supporting the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Noah And The Whale and Fink, the Village Underground show marked a step up in venue for Rae as a headline artist and it was pleasing to see the show had sold out well in advance.
Taking to the stage on her own initially, she wowed the freezing audience from the start with her own slightly shy, slightly nervous charm and of course that voice. She mixed more familiar older tunes such as Wait Awhile and Oldest Of New with some of her new material, including forthcoming single From Above, which should secure her some high-profile radio playlisting.
In her recent interview with Louder Than War, Rae hinted that she would have people on stage with her, and for the middle section of the set she’s joined by a guitarist, bass player and drummer. It’s a difficult transition to make for a solo artist to start playing with a band, but it’s managed effortlessly, because instead of intruding into her sound, they embellish it without you almost not noticing that they are there.
Rae herself now looks a lot more comfortable up on stage and in her interactions with the audience. She sings the opening to Way Back When acapella unaccompanied and you can hear a pin drop in the venue. She laughs and jokes that doing a gig like this is like a birthday party where you hope everyone turns up. Unlike a lot of artists who do the whole thank you for coming routine, she’s genuinely shocked and surprised and utterly charming with it.
She saves the biggest song for last though. Walls, when it finally gets a proper release, will be the song that breaks her through into the big league. It’s just her and piano, but it feels like a huge song.
It’s exciting to watch an artist develop and be given the time to develop by a major record label. It’s even more so the case when you know that artist is developing into something truly special. And Rae is doing exactly that.
All words and images by David Brown. You can see more of David’s work on Louder Than War here