The last time I went to see Morning Runner, I didn't know very much about them except the single "Burning Benches", which I liked. I thought they were pretty good and gave them 7/10. This time around, more than a year later, I still didn't know very much about them except for the single "Burning Benches", which I still liked (in fact, this song popped up on my iPod shuffle when I was out for a run on Thursday evening). It's not that I haven't listened to their album (“Wilderness is Paradise Now”), or that I don't think that it's any good.....it's just that for some reason it hasn't ever quite become a fixture on my stereo.
I'm not quite sure what the purpose of tonight's gig is, to be honest. I had assumed that the band were going to be testing out new material in front of a live audience. Well, I suppose that they did play a couple of new songs, but the hour long set was made up mostly of songs off the album and a few older songs. Singer Matthew Greener told us that they had only played a couple of gigs in the last six months, and as they've been working on the next album, perhaps they simply needed to get out of the studio and to flex the rustiness out of their musical muscles.
They were very good. Greener has got a good voice, and the band themselves are well capable of moving from quite guitar heavy rock to much slower and more sensitive numbers (all of which were very well received tonight). My God but the Social was a sweat box tonight - what the hell is wrong with switching the damn air-conditioning on? Thank heavens it was music to gently sway to, rather than something that required a more active response. Hmmm. That sounds like damning with faint praise.... but I don't mean it like that. The band were good tonight. The new songs sounded tight, although I did think that they lacked hooks and weren't very immediate, but it's really unfair to judge them on a single listen (although wikipedia tells me that the new material sounds like Primal Scream, which is a horrible thing to say about anyone. They didn't - to my ears anyway.)
The band were only onstage for an hour, and then they disappeared without an encore... and we were left to head back out into a rainy saturday night and to marvel at the dress-sense of the youth of Nottingham.
So last time I saw Morning Runner, I gave them 7/10. This time?