Jake Morley, a singer-songwriter from Barnet, came to perform at The Joiners in Southampton, along with two local support acts, to a modest audience on a cold, drizzly November evening. Morley has been working tirelessly over the past two years on writing and recording his second studio album, as revealed in my interview with him the day before the show, which is due for release next year. Therefore it was interesting to go along and find out what he has been trying to perfect over the last 48 months.
Jack Howson was the first support act on the bill with his acoustic guitar. He had a beautiful tone to his voice and showed great talent and potential with his songwriting skills. He performed a mix of well-known covers and his own originals. His original, ‘Pet Dinosaur’, was extremely catchy, an all round great song and clearly the small crowd’s favourite track of his set; his cover of ‘Too Close’ by Alex Clare was equally as brilliant. This young Southampton lad showed that has the capabilities to move on and potentially make a name for himself on the local scene. He just needs to ensure that he keeps a constant tempo as it occasionally went wayward.
Local country singer Mike Todd followed on from Howson and had a great vibe about him. When he took to the stage expectations were not high due to his age (he was most certainly the oldest person at the venue…) and very casual appearance, but he was good to watch and had a roughness to his voice that made me want to throw on my stetson and start a Texan-style hoedown!
Then finally, Jake Morley graced the stage, equipped with his guitar, pint of water, bottle of pineapple juice and packet of Strepsils (he informed the crowd that he had been suffering with a sore throat leading up to this show). He wanted to show us as much of his new material as possible and was armed with a setlist of over 25 songs. He said that he would keep playing track after track until either his throat could no longer handle it, the crowd got bored and left, or the venue chucked everyone out at closing time.
Right from the outset Morley proved how good of a musician he really is. He is an absolutely fantastic musician and loves to experiment with different ways of playing the guitar, as most notably demonstrated in his new single, ‘Falter’, where he strokes the strings in order to create a harp-like sound. He also uses the guitar to create different sounds in an August Rush-style of playing, which also showed off his piano and drumming skills, but whilst still only using the guitar. To add to his excellent musical skills, his voice has an amazing tone and he has an impressive range. When he sings he gets so involved and lost in the music that you can see the passion oozing from his facial expressions and mannerisms. This made the show very intimate and chilled, creating a really relaxed atmosphere amongst the crowd, who were respectfully silent throughout.
Without a doubt Jake Morley should definitely be more well known and a bigger artist than he currently is. Hopefully upon the release of his new album it will grant him the exposure and credit that he so deserves and that it can be turned into lots of success for arguably the best musician I have ever seen play live.
Jake Morley’s second studio album is due for release in 2015. His most recent single ‘Falter’ is now available on Sandwich Emporium Records.