REVIEW: Rae Morris – Limelight 2, Belfast

RaeMorrisbyPaulWoods-3769The Limelight 2 is the venue for Rae Morris’ Belfast date of her UK tour in support of her album ‘Unguarded’ and given the reception she received its safe to say she will be a return visitor.

Unassuming and humble, Morris and her three piece band are welcomed to the stage with rapturous applause. Opening with the haunting ‘Skin‘, she eases the audience into the set gently. Her voice, note perfect, is complimented by drummer Daisy Palmers rich backing vocals. On ‘Grow‘, from the EP of the same name Morris shows songwriting skills that belie her years. ‘Closer‘ injects the set with upbeat energy and even prompts a reveller to bust some moves in the crowd.

In between the songs she is softly spoken and mentions her humble beginnings; previously playing to a crowd of 10 people upstairs in a vintage shop here in Belfast and thanking the audience for the good turnout tonight. She expresses how great it is to be out of the studio and playing the songs she wants to a live audience.

On the heartbreak laden ‘Don’t Go’ Morris’ voice paired with the simple piano accompaniment makes for an emotive and heartfelt performance. Followed by ‘This Time’ which is enhanced by stunning backing vocals by all three members of the band. It’s clear that this tour has made them a tight and gelled band and its less like ‘Rae Morris- singer songwriter’ and more like ‘The Rae Morris band’.

Cold‘, with its laid back electronica feel, is a highlight and shows the diversity of Rae’s voice and songcraft. Highlight of the set is the soaring ‘Love Again’ which closes the show with its dance vibe and beat. It sounds even better with a live drumbeat and striking backing vocals.

Morris seems overwhelmed by the cheers and applause from the audience, exchanging elated looks with her band and thanks us profusely for coming to listen. Our appreciation is rewarded with an encore of ‘Not Knowing’ and ‘Under the Shadows’. Morris and band leave the stage to fervent applause, with the satisfaction of knowing they have won the hearts of the Belfast crowd.  Sarah McCrossan, GiggingNI.com