Live: Flo Morrissey @ Bush Hall

London-based singer-songwriter Flo Morrissey played a show at West London’s Bush Hall as part of her first UK headline tour following a busy year which included slots at Glastonbury, Green Man and End Of The Road festivals, in support of her debut studio album Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful which was released earlier this year.

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Bringing her wispy, pastoral sound back to London, the now Paris-based singer was in fine form in front of the 200-strong crowd. This was always going to be a gentile show, given Morrissey’s summery, free-flowing sound. But with her band comprising just a keyboardist/guitarist along with cellist James Douglas in addition to herself on acoustic guitar, an even more stripped down sound than features on Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful was presented.

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

“Hi, my name is Flo Morrissey, thank you guys for coming” she said before beginning her 13-song set with album-opener Show Me, the delicate guitar work and sombre sound perfectly at home in the former Edwardian dance hall. Noticeably nervous, the Notting Hill-native introduced first single Pages Of Gold next as such before nervously laughing out “sorry, that was a really bad introduction.”

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Album track Betrayed followed, the audience entranced by the singer’s gentle delivery, many sitting cross-legged on the floor of the venue. Her limited years did show though during Sleeplessly Dreaming however, as she got the giggles and had to stifle laughs towards the end of the song, “I don’t know why that happened, sorry”, she apologised to a very forgiving crowd.

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Next was Tuxedomoon cover A Manner Of Speaking, which Morrissey described as having first heard a version of by French cover band Nouvelle Vague. She disclosed that she’d been living in Paris for the past two months and so enjoyed playing it “it’s not in French, but c’est la vie” she jested, enticing laughs from the crowd. The 20-year-old’s voice for the song, while still distinctive, took on an old-school jazz vibe and, left on stage on her own following the departure of her band, the show took on an even more intimate feel.

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Continuing on her covers theme, she took on Tame Impala tune Yes, I’m Changing, the song given a complete make-over with an acoustic guitar-driven rendition overlaid with Morrissey’s signature vocals in stark contrast to the electronica original. Morrissey’s band re-joined her for album track Wildflower, the downbeat track dealing with unexpected loss.

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

For album track Why, Morrissey took up position behind a keyboard and immediately forgot how to start the song faced with an unfamiliar instrument. But once she got going, the delicately keyed notes coupled with Douglas’ gentle cello bowing took her sound in a new direction.

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Describing final track of the main set, the album’s title track, Morrissey commented, “This next song is our last song, thank you so much for coming and listening. It’s called Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, I’m not all doom and gloom!”

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Flo Morrissey (Kalpesh Patel)

Following cheers for more, the Londoner returned to the West London stage solo. “I’m going to try something a bit different for the last one” she said, introducing Billie Holiday cover Don’t Explain. “I’m going to try it A cappella”, she said to cheers from the crowd. With little to no instrumentation filling out Morrissey’s sound, her delicate, sometimes warbling voice is clear and precise, making the 20-year-old mesmerising to watch and demonstrating just how strong a voice can be without embellishment

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Kalpesh has more music photography up on his Flickr stream here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/somethingforkate

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