Leeds indie rockers Morain kicked off their short winter tour last Saturday at the Asylum 2. They were supported by a host of bands, starting with the pop punk duo Hula Girls [5/10]. The band had just a guitarist and a drummer, and although they severely lacked bass, their songs showed a good knack for a poppy riff and typically teenage angst in their lyrics. Masshouse Circus [6/10] came on next and impressed the crowd with their blend of rock, metal, blues and funk. The singer’s vocals were reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s whilst the blues guitarist was the band’s strength, however, unfortunately somewhat out of place next to the overpowering metal rhythm guitar.
Morain’s support for the entire tour, Glass City Vice [6/10] followed with a far more polished set in terms of mix and lighting, other than an oddly snappy drum sound. The practiced singles like ‘Have To Say’ were a lot smoother than the slightly disjointed performances of their new songs, although throughout the set the quality and catchiness of the songs was pretty consistent. The band’s forte is their ability to write melodic parts for every instrument (other than drums, obviously), with their bassist in particular doing more than his share by backing up the guitars with his own riffs.
Morain [7/10] finally took to the stage afterwards, bashing out the first three songs without a problem. Their anthemic singles like ‘Are We Lost’ sounded good in a live setting, and impressively Wil’s (lead singer) voice held up throughout the set. Their style was a lot more confident compared to the supports’, perhaps a given being the headliners but worked in their favour. Having had an hour and a half to sound check, according to the band, also bettered their set as the arrangements and mixes were mostly faultless, though the bass was often lost in the less rehearsed new material.
Wil suits his role as a front man, providing plenty of energy even though the turnout to the gig was less than inspiring (Ed Sheeran’s fault for playing the LG Arena that night apparently). Nevertheless, it was a good opportunity to test the new ‘Satellites’, a poppy rock song with their typical break out chorus but otherwise a more distinct step away from the tracks off their EPs. They also wrapped up the gig with another new song, described as “a bit like a David Guetta anthem” but realistically more along the lines of Coldplay with an instrumental breakdown rather than a chorus. At the very end, the guitarist made use of his Telecaster’s sound but not for quite long enough, although the main reverb-soaked riff provided plenty of melody to compliment the song. It’s a shame that some of their fans missed out on a great performance by the likeable Leeds band, but admittedly if I could have gone to an Ed Sheeran show instead, I probably would have too.