The Bluetones

Mark Morriss - All The Wrong People

The Bluetones frontman has returned with a new solo single ‘All The Wrong People’. It is the lead single from his up coming fourth studio album ‘Look Up’ (out via Reckless Yes Records).

With Steve Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’ firmly in view, Morriss allows his pop instincts to flourish, arguably to the finest degree since 2003’s ‘Never Going Nowhere’. There are hooks oozing out of this at every turn. The piano licks, sauntering drums, and the wah wah guitar combine to re-imagine 70s funk and soul to glorious effect.

Morriss’ lyrics’, are not often in the social comment bracket. However, with the world pulling itself apart, Morriss’ adopts a reflective stance many of us have when agitators of the world frequent the TV. In this instance, Trump, aka “big blonde hippopotamus” is the target. It may seem a juvenile quip but, in reality, this is how most reasonable people react to the colossal oath every time he tweets racist bile. It’s all that can be done to cope and Morriss has mirrored this with aplomb.

Having heard the jaw dropping ‘Roll Away’ and the sun kissed ‘Rimini’ at live shows, ‘Look Up’ is shaping up to be the pop album that truly matters in 2019.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:

 

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.

The Bluetones: Water Rats, London

When big bands come to small gig venues, it’s invariably a great night and, The Bluetones at Water Rats was just that. Filmed for Vintage TV, the Hounslow massive rattle through an hour of their greatest hits.

Any Rik Mayall fan will tell you that, the best things about their live shows were the cock ups. Mayall’s wit and charm would shine brighter in these mercurial moments than during anything scripted. For this reason, we hope Adam Devlin’s guitar failure makes Vintage’s edit. It showcased frontman Mark Morriss in all his comedic glory.

It’s striking just how many charting singles they play tonight (and how many they don’t). Especially in Water Rats, a venue synonymous with This Feeling and their new music nights. So many new acts walk through these doors with great tunes and attitude, but, in the long run, too no avail.

Radio and TV outlets need to wake up to the new talent available. The indomitable Caffy St Luce and Heather Ferguson are here tonight, they dedicate their lives to breaking bands, these outlets should be trusting them (among others) as they did with The Bluetones in the 90s. Otherwise, they are denying generations of music lovers a chance to go on journeys with their favourite bands. The highs of the top 10, the lows of the fading 5th albums and then their glorious live comebacks when the kids have grown up.

This just leaves us to say, in the Bluetones immortal words, “So it’s on with the show”.

Image coutesy of  https://twitter.com/markpinsent

The Bluetones Live @ Roundhouse

With a little charm and a lot of style, Mark Morriss and co were back playing a greatest hits set and Camden’s Roundhouse.  

A lot is made of bands who tour without new material these days and, it's usually negative. In the case of The Bluetones though, they made new music until 2010 so this isnt a massive trip down nostalgia lane. Even if it was, there is a clearly a demand to from their fans to watch their concise alternative pop songs still.   

Nothing can be written about the anthems ‘Bluetonic’ or ‘Cut Some Rug’ that hasn’t been written before. They were, are and always will be classics. What probably wasn’t written enough about the band, was their 2003 album ‘Luxembourg’. 

It should have been another hit album  for the Hounslow band and adoring indie fans. However, a new decade was well under way and the Britpop tag was impossible to shake, especially when the lacklustre Nu-metal scene was dominating the share of alternative airplay.  

The performances of ‘Fast Boy’ and ‘Never Going Nowhere’ highlight just how overlooked they were in this period. ‘Fast Boy’, the tale of their weed dealer, demonstrates a shift towards more riff heavy guitar tracks. Meanwhile, ‘Never Going Nowhere’ took all their classic pop sensibilities and romantically tumultuous lyrics with a slightly more glam-rock tinged guitars and a bass breakdown so good, it is acceptable to dribble over.  

Morriss’ between song banter is a stern reminder just how much new bands could learn from the Bluetones. The dry wit, anecdotes and jokes are continuous throughout and crucially, it endears the crowd to the band even more. After their cover of Prince's 'I Could Never Take Your Place of Your Man', Morriss asks that the audience show their love for The Bluetones before its too late by buying something from the merch stall.  

There are sure to be many more nights like this for Bluetones fans to enjoy, it’s a good money spinner for the band and clearly fun for them. However, to those who booed when Morriss said no more new music was coming, TT retorts, support Morriss' fine solo efforts. Last years 'The Taste Of Mark Morriss' is cracking little indie pop album that should be in every Bluetones fans' collection.