Jake Morrell review: An evening that showcased and celebrated our thriving local music scene
- Credit: DANIELLE BOODEN
Jake Morrell, with support from Rory Hill and Lucy Grubb, entertained a sizeable crowd last night at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich.
First up was Norwich based singer Rory Hill who took to the stage with just his guitar. He performed a very pleasant opening set to the handful of people who had arrived promptly to the show.
He's a great storyteller, performing songs about his wife and other life experiences, appearing very confident on the stage. Everything about his performance was chilled, from the music itself to his interactions in between songs – a nice way to start the evening.
Second up was Lucy Grubb, a singer-songwriter from Norwich who blends modern Americana with country undertones.
As an avid fan of country and American music, Lucy Grubb is a name that I have regularly heard cropping up and after watching her performance I can see why.
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She's got a very understated voice, soft and delicate yet at times wonderfully powerful.
Backed by an equally talented band, it was evident that she is a very sophisticated songwriter, performing a whole variety of songs that wouldn't be out of place receiving air time on the larger more established radio stations.
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The only disappointment was the audience who spent most of the time crowded at the back of the room deep in conversation. It seemed like a large proportion of the crowd were only there for the headline act and sadly weren't giving Lucy Grubb the respect that she deserved.
All musicians start off by opening for others, so it's a shame when the audience don't take the time to show their support to the first few acts who have worked just as hard to be on stage.
Kudos to Lucy Grubb for still interacting with the audience, even if she did seem a little disheartened by the lack of engagement from the majority of the people at the venue. If they'd piped down and taken the time to listen they would have witnessed what a handful of us did, a talented singer and songwriter performing quality country/Americana music.
The crowds filtered closer to the stage as Jake Morrell appeared to perform his headline set. Now living in London, the Norwich-born singer looked overjoyed to be back in his hometown performing to a crowd that consisted of a lot of family and friends.
Joined on stage by his guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyboard player and backing singer/percussionist, it was pleasantly surprising to hear the quality of the songs that Jake had written with a variety of his friends.
Having been lucky enough to attend a whole range of country music shows I'd say with confidence that Jake Morrell's voice is definitely up there in terms of quality and authenticity. It was great to hear it on the more intimate, stripped back songs where his band had left the stage. His voice has a lovely tone and he can really belt out the notes when he wants to, just as easily managing to dial it back to sing the softer and more delicate parts of his songs.
His set was very well put together making it very clear why he performed at this year's Country to Country Festival in London - the UK's biggest country music festival. If you really hone in on his guitar playing you can hear that he's spent time rehearsing this too with songs that had some lovely intricate fingerpicking melodies.
Jake Morrell is extremely confident on stage often making jokes that had the audience laughing. It's great to see talented musicians holding their own on stage, subtly demanding the attention of the audience.
Hats off to local promoter Tilting Craig who did a fantastic job with last night's show – an evening that beautifully showcased and celebrated some of the musicians emerging from our thriving local music scene.