By Naomi Ellis
I don’t know if you’ve heard but Rae is the nicest girl in music. Fact.
Yes, I do feel on first name terms with her after one gig, and no, not just because she thanked us profusely after every song, not even because she stayed behind afterwards to chat and take awkward photos with fans, but because she is just genuinely, very lovely.
Supporting her was long-term friend and collaborator, Fryars, who features on the album in the track ‘Cold’. In all his oddly auto-tuned glory, Fryars was fantastic. With his two band-mates they made an intense and sardonic trio (the drummer looked like an who uncle had stumbled into the wrong gig and decided to play), surprising us all with quirky riffs and a thumping beat that left us dancing. Definitely one to watch.
Then Rae bounced on stage and the whole room went quiet at that voice. Her range is show-stopping. Hailing from Blackpool, her endearingly husky accent is transformed when she sings. With her incredible range she has the rare gift of one minute kicking out a brazen ballad like ‘Don’t Go’, and still transfixing you the next with slow growers such as ‘Skin’. The album itself is a mature and varied debut that is really refreshing in contrast to her male solo counterparts, Ben Howard and Tom Odell, who appear to have let fame take its toll in their darker, quite self-obsessed, recent work. Accompanied by a female drummer (a real stand-out), a percussionist and a guitarist (who surprised us all by whipping out a double bass halfway through) all of whom took part in harmonies, Rae’s set had real depth and force.
A vocal and aesthetic cross between Kate Bush and Regina Spektor, Rae Morris has been building momentum since her first EP in 2012. Having only released her first album, Unguarded, last month it was clear she still hasn’t quite got over her own success: “I can’t believe I get to have my own King Tut show! Goodness me!” With big features and even bigger hair, it was a joy to watch her perform – she smiled throughout the set and clearly loved every minute on stage. How refreshing to experience a musician who isn’t too cool to enjoy her own music.
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut calls itself, ‘the best music venue in Glasgow’; a bold claim which lived up to its bravado with this gig. Rae Morris is certainly on her way to the top, so it was a privilege to listen to her on the ascent whilst she has her feet still firmly on the ground and a smile on her face.
Image: AMG Press