IRISH singer songwriter James Vincent McMorrow made his way to Manchester’s striking Albert Hall venue on Tuesday (October 11) – his fourth stop on a two-month long tour which culminates in Los Angeles.
McMorrow first came into the spotlight in 2010 with his remake of Stevie Winwood’s ‘Higher Love’ recording – a song which McMorrow made his own with a mixture of melancholic acoustics and the beautiful fragility that can be heard in his voice.
Before the main attraction, support act Wyvern Lingo, also Irish, opened up the night with the Belfast folk band performing an energising and refreshing set.
They opened the night with ‘Sweet Life Ruiner‘, a hit from their 2016 album ‘Lamplight Sessions‘, a song which symbolised what was to come.
The female trio played uplifting energetic folk music, and despite being relatively unknown previous, their performances will gain them surging popularity in the music industry very soon.
— Karl Yearsley (@karlitovasquez) October 11, 2016
The highest point in Wyvern Lingo’s set came when they performed an incredibly heartfelt cover of ‘When Doves Cry’, a classic hit released in 1984 by the late Prince.
The record seemed to remain distinctly similar to the original – but with Lingo’s own touch which ultimately brought it to life.
Throughout the rest of their set, Wyvern Lingo appeared to infuse their folk sound with other genres – most noticeably for their final song ‘Letter to Willow’, also from their 2016 album.
Their ability to include a soulful sound to their music made for a beautiful way to end a very impressive support act set.
This paved the way for James Vincent McMorrow to begin.
An already warmed up crowd knew the kind of music they were in for – as somewhat of an enigma in the music industry, McMorrow’s music has attained wide praise by many across the globe.
McMorrow opened with ‘Red Dust‘, a song from his second album ‘Post Tropical‘.
Alongside the man himself, he brought his backing group – who all make the music sound as magical as the vocals he produces.
McMorrow’s vocals won the crowd’s applause almost instantly; his ability to go from low to high in half a second is haunting, but make the performance even more special.
Following earlier tracks, ‘Get Low’ a release from his newest 2016 album ‘We Move‘ once again symbolised the vocal range which he can stretch to – the purposeful lack of background sound in his music brings out the real power and beauty which are found in the lyrics he writes.
McMorrow seems like a perfectionist in the music which he creates.
All of it is perfectly crafted to meet the demands of the music which seems to just be right for him.
He recently performed on Jools Holland’s Late Night Show – a programme regularly championed as a broadcast suited for upcoming and genuinely talented craftsmen and women of music – this was his second appearance on the show.
The highest point of the entire evening came with his final song however – ‘Cavaliers‘.
A song which, by its nature is somewhat more melancholic and at peace than some of his other recordings, ‘Cavaliers‘ is really the reprensation of the music McMorrow makes.
James Vincent McMorrow's Cavalier never fails me.
— luz de luna (@luuuuuunaaa) October 12, 2016
Very rarely would I say a gig managed to elicit such emotion out of myself that I could say it was easily a 10/10 gig – but everything about this show gave fans a beautiful example of how music should be played, and why it will continue to be a staple of our culture for generations to come.
By Daniel Willis