The night at Electric Brixton started out with Fryars. Complete with a band kitted out with black bomber jackets, Bloc Party’s old lead guitarist and some witty chat involving his flagging merchandise sales, Fryars didn’t take long to get some heads bobbing.Known to his mum as plain old Benjamin Garrett, who recently slept in a record shop for three nights to promote his latest album ‘Power’ along with website www.listentomyfuckingmasterpiece.com, got the near Valentine’s Day crowd going with ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’, which is an absolute banger of a love song if you haven’t heard it already. Silky, synthy vocals with piano, drums and a few tweaks of the funk guitar here and there, Fryars has a bit of Mark Ronson crossed with Hot Chip whilst involved in an orgy with Broken Bells about him. Oh and Benjamin Garrett has an uncanny resemblance to Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw from certain angles. That was trippy.
Then along came 21-year-old Rae Morris, the headline wonder-voice of the night. The sound of ticking clocks on a dark stage set the scene for her opening track ‘Skin’, as the stage lit up with a backdrop of minimalistic flashing white screens and a shiny black piano in the foreground where she sat with a massive grin; that comes as standard with Rae. Amongst the fantastic flashing light panels at Brixton Electric, one thing really shone through; her voice. Absolutely, ridiculously pitch perfect. Even when knocking out a noise heard out in the alps, known as the ‘yodel’ to most of us, Morris hit note after note, turning the Bavarian past-time into something of true musical merit. Perfectly balancing soft piano -led tracks ‘Closer’ and ‘For You’ alongside electronic heavyweights ‘Under the Shadows’, ‘Love Again’ and ‘Do You Even Know’, Rae proved what a confident performer she truly is; swinging her hips so veraciously, even Mick Jagger would go green with envy. A definite highlight had to be when Fryars joined Morris on stage for beautiful duet ‘Cold’, both entrenched in bright lights whist the rest of the stage filled with darkness.
Encore complete, I began to feel an overwhelming sense of doom; not in that ‘shit I’m probably gonna die and my life story will feature in the plot for Final Destination 23 or whatever bloody number the awful series is on now’ but rather that I will probably never feel the same again. To experience Morris live is to see a true performer come to life; something that you just don’t get whilst listening to her via a simple mp3.
Picture & Words By Felix Clarke