Wednesday 16 November 2022

Sorcha Richardson / Morning Midnight - Manchester Yes Basement - 15th November 2022

Sorcha Richardson returned to Manchester after two and a half years away for an intimate show in the basement of Yes on Tuesday night, featuring primarily songs from her second album Smiling Like An Idiot as well as four tracks from her debut First Prize Bravery and a couple of early singles. Support came from Morning Midnight.

Morning Midnight open up the evening and the Glasgow-based duo Jordan and Jess perform tracks from their recent album Happy Hour, a cover of Lovin's For Fools before finishing with You And I from their debut Swimming Lessons. Their songs are dark and melancholic, particularly when their vocals combine and twist the knife of sadness a little deeper, yet they connect with an audience that's quiet and respectful whilst they play. Just keys and an acoustic guitar make the words seem starker and more powerful emotionally, particularly on Easy and the set-closing You And I.

Morning Midnight played Paradise, Easy, Lovin's For Fools, Berlin, Talk, Teenagers and You And I.

Sorcha Richardson recently sold out the Olympia back in her native Dublin, an impressive feat that makes witnessing her in the much more confined space of the Yes Basement an even bigger privilege. She recalls that they played Soup Kitchen just before the pandemic (and later that the dancing with bass player Joe reference in her second album Smiling Like An Idiot's title track is from that evening when they went to the Night And Day afterwards) and expected to be back much sooner. It's a sign of how the pandemic curtailed the momentum of many artists away from their home towns.

Sorcha's songs are simple in construction and rooted in experience of life and love, the good and the bad sides of it and they resonate with the audience. Smiling Like An Idiot is a fine starting point, a story of relearning to fall in love with yourself and the people around you, a journey that many of us have had to go through. Her vocals resonate with the most open and honest emotions and you get drawn into the stories. There's no big showbiz statements, the between song chat awkward at points but always genuine and natural. There's a huge cheer when she introduces her parents and sister who've flown in for the night to catch the gig.

Two thirds of the set come from Smiling Like An Idiot, one of the finest albums to be released this year, whilst Sorcha tells us that because First Prize Bravery's campaign got cut off half way through she wants to play songs from that - and its title track and Spotlight Television as well as early single Ruin Your Night and Lost demonstrate that Sorcha's been making music that connects for much longer than the last record. Wonderfully warm, always believable and relatable, there's a lot of love in the room because music being used for cathartic purposes will always be a universal language.

Sorcha played Hard To Fake It, Spotlight Television, First Prize Bravery, Smiling Like An Idiot, Ruin Your Night, Archie, Purgatory, Red Lion, Lost, Good Intentions, Stalemate, High In The Garden, 5/2/5, Don't Talk and Shark Eyes.

Sorcha Richardson's website can be found here and she is on Facebook and Twitter. She plays London Lafayette (November 17), Brighton The Folklore Rooms (18), Cologne Jaki (20), Berlin Prachtwerk (21), Hamburg Hebebuhne (22) and Amsterdam Paradiso (24).

Morning Midnight are on Facebook and Twitter.

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