I have to confess, I haven’t been to many small scale gigs yet, so experiencing the intimate and casual atmosphere of Southampton’s The Cellar was something fairly new to me. Morain were one among several bands playing there that night, so there was a broad range of live acts to compare them too. In light of this, it was Morian who appeared the most professional and perhaps out of place act of the entire gig, considering the number of amateur groups on display.
Their set took place rather early on in the evening, thus there was a distinct lack of an audience, with a small crowd drifting around the edges of the venue. Nevertheless, the guys tried their upmost to extract as much enthusiasm from such a meagre source as possible, with vocalist Wil urging everyone to clap along to ‘Are We Lost’, and filling gaps with snappy jokes. Eventually there was collective shifting further into the centre and closer to the stage, as their confidence and the consistent high quality execution of their material enticed us in. A rather unexpected highlight was ‘Between the Lines’, simply because the chorus was punchy and the guitar riff energetic enough to pick up the atmosphere.
It seemed that while Morain’s persona suited the intimacy, their music appears designed for something rather bigger, with a responsive crowd, as they rely on significant build-ups and compulsive singing along more than anything else, and yet this felt lost in The Cellar. It’s entirely possible that in a different venue with a different crowd Morain would have thrived, but during that gig they never hit the sweet spot. However, I look forward to hopefully hearing more of them, and having the opportunity to see them reach their full potential.
Check out the video for single ‘Are We Lost’ below.