Rae Morris at Oran Mor 2/10/15

Rae Morris is a name that some may only recognise for being guest singer on one of Bombay Bicycle Club’s recent songs, in which her voice steals the limelight completely.

However, her popularity seems to be ascending almost as quickly as her vocal lines and judging by the almost uncontrollable cacophony erupting from the crowd towards the end of tonight’s performance, it will only be a few more tours before she’s headlining much bigger venues than Oran Mor.

The aspect of her sound, which creeps up every wall and spine in the room, propelling her vocals and providing the perfect backdrop, is the overall lushness of the production; the drums never once drown anything out, the effects on every individual part are measured to within an iota of excellence, and the gorge between folk and electronic is bridged magnificently.

There are those that scorn the use of backing tracks and samples, citing fakeness in the lack of organic live performance, but as with every other part of the show, these are perfectly placed building blocks in the immersive architecture of Morris’ songwriting.

I honestly don’t know if I have the mental capacity to imagine how the production could be bettered.

The bare-bones of the songs match up to the production too, swaying from ballad-ish numbers, like the recently released ‘Don’t Go’ (associated with breast cancer charity Coppafeel), to more upbeat pieces that dance into disco and funk territory, while still retaining the sentimental thread that runs through consistently.

Rae Morris2

The shadowy stage lights slightly obstruct the view to the back of the stage, so when the insanely high, Elizabeth Fraser-esque backing vocals burst from the drummer, I shiver with surprise.

Morris herself is obviously an absurdly accomplished vocalist, but her drummer seems a perfect match, and more than once does she rise up behind her band leader with chants that border on ethereal.

This probably isn’t the first or last time this observation will be made, but encores were surely not always such a bizarre, mandatory ritual.

Tonight’s crowd is genuinely one of the loudest I’ve ever been in however, and Morris and her bandmates re-grace the stage, seeming rather touched by the enthusiasm.

They play two more songs: a stripped-back-yet-totally-full version of that Bombay Bicycle Club song (a highlight for me), and a song called ‘Love Again’, which features the poppy, powerful hooks that understandably make it one of her biggest hits (everyone in the room seems to fucking love it), but it just isn’t as interesting as some of the other, slightly more experimental songs she’s shown off tonight.

Overall though, that would be the one incredibly minor and completely subjective mis-hit in an amazing performance.

Words: Greg Murray
Photos: Sophie Morrison

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