Morcheeba at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
In a full house at the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, the audience was as eclectic as Morcheeba’s sound and set list. Music is a subjective and personal art form; a song one guy dismisses might bring tears to the next person. Live music, however, is an emotive experience that all in the venue share. True, the genre of music might not necessarily be your cup of tea but there is no denying the power of live vocals and people playing instruments before you, and the evening’s crowd were left thirsty for more. The fact that such a wide demographic of people were engaged, entertained and even moved at times is testament to the band who know how to put on a good show. Morcheeba are recognised for their laid back, cool and perhaps even therapeutic sound, however, the audience were kept on their feet with a carefully coordinated set list, merging older tracks such as Never An Easy Way with newer numbers like It’s Summertime. The cover of Bowie’s Let’s Dance was a joyful experience, not least for the band whose enthusiasm radiated infectiously into the crowd.
The charts, although now somewhat defunct compared to Morcheeba’s breakout in the mid 90s, are littered with the on-trend samey sounds of the moment with very little originality. What keeps people loyal to this four-piece is also what those new to the group are drawn in by – their refusal to create commercial music. Instead, we are presented with a band who, as they always have, do their own thing, make music that they enjoy and that in turn the audience can revel in.
Skye Edwards commanded the crowd, not through theatrics or costume changes but rather with her signature sultry vocals. This is what the fans came for but any newcomers would no doubt have been drawn in and subsequently impressed by the singer’s pitch-perfect performance. Edwards’s cool and calm voice made for an ultimately laid-back vibe but was complemented by Ross Godfrey on electric guitar, his impressive psychedelic solos elevating each track and earning him a much warranted ovation from the crowd at the end of the evening.
We saw a cool, calm and confident group on stage, self assured in their respective roles and whilst their recent album, Blaze Away, may connote a sense of chill, this gig set the house on fire.
Photos: Miguel de Melo
For further information and future events visit Morcheeba’s website here.
Watch the video for It’s Summertime here: