Mark Morriss Live: Spotlite Club, Southend

A strange gig in many ways. What was due to be an intimate setting with an icon became even more so with a poor turnout. This was Southend’s newest small gig venue, not a great sign of things to come. Nevertheless, Morriss took the ego hit in his stride and regaled stories and jokes in-between worthy of Live at the Apollo.

In-between the anecdotes and Bluetones classics, Morriss displayed his criminally underrated solo material. From his 2014 album ‘Flash of Darkness’, was ‘It's Hard to Be Good All The Time’ which kept the spirit of Crosby Stills and Nash alive. The sullen acoustic guitars of ‘Carry On’ and the brooding nature of ‘Dark Star’ combined with Morriss’ unique pop vocals.

From his debut solo effort ‘Memory Muscle’ came the more Bluetones-esque ‘I’m Sick’. The spritely melodies which embody all that is great about his band. More interestingly, there is sense of longing for something unfound, a notion that, with all the glory of the 90s, you’d feel Morriss would not have anymore.

The standout offering was the CSN styled ‘This Is The Lie (and That’s The Truth). A brilliant story of self-reflection and what it is to be a solo artist. Morriss’ ability to intertwine feelings of isolation with pop music have never been better here.

This was not a gig BBC4 will be making a documentary about but, for the small crowd, its one they will cherish more than most. Humble and hilarious, Morriss reminded them of the glory days and, better still, demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with as a solo act.