24th March | Marble Factory
Rae Morris was a perfect fit for a venue like The Marble Factory. The large, lofty ceilings and exposed brick walls give off a Rave-in-a-Brooklyn-Warehouse feel, a set-up which really flattered the eclectic vibe that Morris possesses. Supported came from PAULi and Chaouchi, whose vibrant, passionate sets warmed up an audience of loyal fans.
Morris then bounded onto stage with a bucketload of charm, presence and focus. She opened with ‘Push Me To My Limit,’ followed by ‘Reborn’, two tracks from her most recent album Someone Out There, which was released at the tail end of 2017. Then she slipped into fan favourite, ‘Morne Fortune’ from her first album Unguarded, released in 2015, which features the satisfyingly skilful lyrics, “You couldn’t be more deserving of this life, you couldn’t be closer to the perfect fit.”
Then she moved into ‘Do It’ an insanely catchy track from Someone Out There. Morris was supported on stage by a backing singer and musician. This allowed her to skip seamlessly between ‘still and sincere’ singer-songwriter mode and being the athletic, theatrical pop star, running across the stage with her arms flailing, then hunching over and throwing her shoulders to the beat. She moved in a way that was captivating and charismatic. Dressed in bejewelled tracksuit bottoms, the stage lights reflected off her in a way which made her almost appear to be glowing.
The growth in Morris’ music was evident as she alternated between tracks from Unguarded then to Someone Out There and back again. Her sound was consistently experimental and abstract, but old favourites like ‘Dip My Toe’ sound younger and more bright-eyed in comparison to her new stuff which, whilst remaining inquisitive, sounds more refined and mature. This to-ing and fro-ing kept the set list fresh, pacifying the ‘day one’ fans in the audience, as well as satisfying the more recent fans, who had picked up on her heavy promotional trail and Morris’ popularity on streaming and radio playlists.
Morris ended the set prematurely with ‘Atlético.’ Whilst apparently inspired by the Madrid Football team, its subject matter is less football-focused, ‘Atlético’ discusses admiring someone from a distance on a night out, an addictive, upbeat song that encouraged a rousing, yet out of time sing-along from the audience, who chanted the line, “I leave my light on” as Morris danced on stage.
This, of course, was not the final goodbye. She returned and finished with, ‘Lower The Tone’, ‘Don’t Go’ and then the title track of her album, ‘Someone Out There Loves You,’ a song which in any other hands could be sickly and saccharine. Its lyrics could easily patronise in that way married couples promise their single friends that they won’t be alone forever. However, Rae has a way with this song as she does her entire catalogue, in which she is sincere and neither trite nor contrite. As a performer and a presence, she is genuine and exciting.