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Luke Morley

Artist: Luke Morley, Hillbilly Vegas

Venue: Cardiff, The Globe

Date: 30th January 2024


"It was an excellent performance by both Morley and his band. The songs all came out better for being played live than they sound on record, in my opinion."


 

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The Globe is situated a short distance from Cardiff city centre. It holds around three hundred and fifty people over two floors. Tonight it is pretty close to being full.


The support band was Hillbilly Vegas who took to the stage at 20.00. They started with ‘Mason Jars And Moonlight’ and it was obvious from the start that there was an issue with the sound from a guitar belonging to one of the two guitarists. After the song finished, there was quite a long interlude whilst the fault was traced. To be fair to lead singer Steve Harris, he kept the audience entertained with his tales of being on the road. Whilst an amplifier head was being replaced, they then carried on playing, before the guitarist rejoined them. Their sound is typically Southern Rock and in between each song Harris had a few words to say and interacted humorously with the audience. The set lasted about forty five minutes, and ignoring the technical difficulties and ongoing slightly distorted sound then it was a very good set, that I liked immensely. The audience were also very appreciative, and obviously enjoyed listening to the band.


To Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’, Luke Morley and his band consisting of Sam Tanner (keyboards), Chris Childs (bass), Dean Howard (guitar) and Jack Taylor (drums) took to the stage. They started with ‘I Wanna See The Light’, the first of many tracks from his latest album ‘Songs From The Blue Room’. The sound was excellent, and the volume was at a good level. Next up was ‘Damage’, and followed by ‘Killed By Cobain’, a song about Grunge destroying Thunder’s chances of breaking in America. It was only at this stage that Morley chatted to the audience about the history of how Thunder got together and meeting Dean Howard in those early days, and then watching T’Pau on Top Of The Pops (who Howard had since joined) whilst Thunder were still trying to get known. The set then continued with ‘This World’ from his first solo album ‘El Gringo Retro’, which is all about musicians who never made it into the mainstream.


The first acoustic song ‘Errol Flynn’ was then played and sounded very good. In between introducing the band and a few other stories, Morley and the band performed a few more songs from ‘El Gringo Retro’ and also nearly all of the rest of the new album. After being on for nearly seventy five minutes, they left the stage and returned for the encore demanded by the Welsh audience with the call and return “Oggy oggy oggy...Oi Oi Oi”. Starting with an update on Danny Bowes’ health and heartfelt thanks for the money raised by the fans to help with his recovery and physiotherapy, the band performed Thunder’s ‘A Better Man’, with the harmonica parts played by Morley on guitar, and of course, the audience singing along to the chorus. The next song was ‘Go With The Flow’ from the first album and then after a short introduction they played The Kinks’ ‘Lola’, which again had a lot of audience participation.


It was an excellent performance by both Morley and his band. The songs all came out better for being played live than they sound on record, in my opinion. It was not a Rock performance that you would expect with a Thunder gig, but instead a superb, laid-back concert, demonstrating what a good, versatile songwriter, guitarist and singer Morley is.


 

Review: Paul Gregory

 

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