Morning Runner
New Rhodes (Support)
Night & Day Café, Manchester
Live Review

Morning Runner

The strolling Bristol outfit, New Rhodes set about relaxing the Monday night crowd into the gig feel, with an amiable performance of focused soft rock. They catch the attention early on, riding through Death Cab For Cutie territory in 'You Give Me Something That I Can't Give Back', displaying an endearingly comforting nature coming out through the vocals of James Williams. Lamenting reflection takes over in the powerful 'Cowardice' that has the guitars coming taking over and rising up to induce some toe tapping. This allows you to get into the mood of the set and shows New Rhodes to be a compact outfit. They have obviously garnered a great deal of drive and belief from shows on the same bill as Delays, Hope Of The States and The Killers (no, I haven't heard of that last group either!).

It is evident from the outset that the Morning Runner lead man, Mathew Greener has had a reflective day. Their debut album 'Wilderness Is Paradise Now' is released and they have a sold out show in Manchester. They treat us to a darkly searching cup of bewilderment, 'It's Not Like Everyone's My Friend' which has been their source of energy and drive throughout their journey, enabling them to attain a record deal and keep climbing. The nostalgic Greener shares a piece of the band's history by throwing his all into the first song they ever penned 'Punching Walls'. This clanging, born of frustration portrait of Morning Runner's longing nature provides for a poignant moment, leaving the whole room captivated.

The pace picks up with highlights from the debut album in the form of 'The Great Escape' and the downtrodden, fiery 70s Rock N Roll flirting 'Gone Up In Flames', adding urgency to matters. A coated set is rounded off in the encore by the yearning piano led 'Frayed Edges', turning into a display of sobriety, as Greener's vocals abandon its rawness to give a glimpse of the crispness in his armour. Morning Runner made a connection with the crowd tonight, something they have been accused of not quite achieving in the past. It appears on the evidence of tonight's effort that the crowds will continue to grow, along with this honest Home Counties outfit.

David Adair

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