Mark Morriss: Islington Academy, London

The Bluetones front man returned to London’s Islington Academy this past week. He is arguably the hardest working live act in the UK. Forever touring and dazzling intimate crowds with wit and charm.

With a new album in the pipeline, the quest to blend the new with the classics was always going to be the biggest test. Whilst its great to hear the pop classics of ‘Cut Some Rug’ and ‘Bluetonic’, it’s the heartfelt ‘Rimini’ and ‘Rollaway’ that strike the biggest the chord. The roots of Crosby Stills & Nash shine through here and, with his unique pop vocal, converting fans of yesteryear to the present seems inevitable.

The prowess of ‘If’ and ‘Never Going Nowhere’ hit a sweet spot with the crowd but, flittering just behind was the mystery of mystery of ‘Duchess’ and the bewitching nature of ‘It’s Hard to Be Good All the Time’.

The balance between old and new was still skewed towards the old among Morriss’ faithful. There were however, moments when the crowd’s nostalgia dissipated and a new focus began to emerge. Let’s hope this was the first step to Morriss renaissance he clearly deserves.