hmv.com reviews… James Vincent McMorrow @ Bushmills Live
James Vincent McMorrow, the Irish-born ‘Higher Love’ singer-songwriter with the angelic voice.
The Still Room, Bushmills Distillery @ Bushmills Live
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It was packed. We have to confess, much of McMorrow’s work had largely slipped under our radar up until recently, with the exception of the single ‘Higher Love’, but in his native Ireland he is extremely popular and on this showing it’s easy to see why. On first sight, you wouldn’t imagine that his voice would sound like it does, but his bearded appearance belies a sweet, delicate tenor that cut right through the room. The crowd was roaring its approval throughout his set and he obviously has some very dedicated fans already, but he certainly gained some new ones last night, this writer included.
So what was the set like? What did he play?
Backed up by a 3-piece band (plus Morrow himself), the performance lasted around 45 minutes and was a mixture of the more tender moments like the aforementioned ‘Higher Love’ - clearly one of the biggest crowd-pleasers - and atmospheric but pulsating, upbeat numbers like ‘Glacier’. He really is a rare vocal talent and an impressive songwriter, but as a performer he’s jaw-dropping at times.
Any good between song banter?
Not too much, he’s a relatively shy and polite presence on the stage, but he did tell a story about a technical error that had beset their synth player at a recent show in Australia that had everyone laughing. “If you could imagine Satan designing a synth sound… It was terrifying.”
What was the highlight of the set?
Their live performance of ‘We Don’t Eat’ was, simply put, stunning, slowly building from a gentle pulse to a rousing crescendo that brought the house down. A very, very powerful rendition.
Where can I catch him next?
He’s off to Scandinavia today to three straight festivals in Denmark and Norway, then on to more in France and The Netherlands, but he’ll be back on English shores for Lattitude in Suffolk on July 19th before heading back home to Ireland with an appearance in Dublin at Longtitude on July 20th.