PREVIEW: Rae Morris @ Institute, Feb 5th ’15

Rae Morris

Rae Morris comes back to Birmingham on Thursday Feb 5th, playing the upstairs Temple room at the Institute – with support from Fryars. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets were £11advance, but at the time of writing this gig has been billed as Sold Out. Kudos.

(We last covered Rae Morris, playing back in the Institute’s Temple room, on April 29th 2014 – read Jay Airey’s Birmingham Review here)

Rae Morris has been bubbling around the live circuits for several years, cutting her ivory teeth in the working men’s clubs of red & white roses – with Blackpool as her hallowed home ground. Mentored in music (and possibly hair) by another formidable voice from the autonomous city of bright lights, Karima Francis, Ms Morris found her force behind keys not string.Birmingham-Preview-logo-300x300

With a powerful voice, twisted pen, and a gift for delivering low lament melodies, the shouts of the precocity that followed Rae Morris were increasingly well deserved. This was indeed an artist worth some attention; another pat on the back from the label that brought us The Staves, Alt-J, Clean Bandit & Vance Joy.

Morris’s debut major label single, Don’t Go, was released through Atlantic (UK) in March 2012 – preceding a short flurry of piano led EPs on the same imprint: For You (2012), Grow (2012), From Above (2013).

And not one to be stuck in doors for too long Rae Morris continued a fairly rigorous touring schedule – playing her own headline dates, whilst also supporting the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Tom Odell and Lianne La Havas.

Rae_Morris-Unguarded-Frontal - lrThen in autumn (I think) 2013 the debut album was announced, originally set for release in summer 2014. Having been slightly overwhelmed by some of Morris’s previous EP tracks, Way Back When & Grounded in particular, the thought of twelve tracks in a row was…  well, let’s just say the Birmingham Review expenses card was put on DEFCON 4.

‘The first glimpse of her new material’ came in the guise of Skin, released as a free download in Feb 2014; slick, polished, subtle, sadly clandestine keys – read the Birmingham Review of Skin here.

Talk of LA producers flowed, of fruitful collaborations, a surge of excitable industry seemed to step up in support; and as momentum gathered for Ms Morris more sentiments of ‘things to come’ and ‘new direction’ seemed to pepper the promotional Rae rhetoric. All we needed now was the album. Unguarded, the fabled debut, eventually came out in January 2015 – followed by somewhat fawning support from some of the more questionable pundits of the day.

But a lot to look out for, and Rae Morris is not to be underestimated or sold off as cheap – as some of the more garrulous junk bond traders circling around her have been known to do before. Unguarded could be the next rising move of someone clever enough to stick around for a good few years yet.

But the proof is often live, so we’ll just have to smuggle our way into the Institute (and up all them naffing stairs) to find out first hand. Let the ghosts of fallen egos and fashionable addictions be cleansed from the halls – there’s some serious potential playing around here somewhere. TBC.

Rae Morris’s comes back to the Institute on February 5th – with support from Fryars, playing her first Birmingham gig since the release of Unguarded. Ed King will be there for a Birmingham Review.

For more gig info, visit

N.B. And in case you missed it, at the time of writing the Rae Morris gig on Feb 5th is billed as Sold Out – please check your local ticket sellers (the official ones, not Cortina Bob) for further details.


For more on Rae Morris, visit

For more from Atlantic Records, visit

For further listings from the Institute, visit

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