Concert review: Morcheeba, The Powerstation

By Rachel Bache

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British group Morcheeba. Photo / Warner Music
British group Morcheeba. Photo / Warner Music

Remember Morcheeba? The UK trip-hop trio who reminded us that Rome wasn't built in a day back in the late 90s?

Well, as it turns out they're still pumping out their lazy day jams, most recently with Head Up High, their album that dropped just last year.

Lead singer Skye Edwards floated onto the stage of Auckland's Powerstation last night in a beautiful yellow floral dress of her own creation, accompanied by a full five-piece band.

Morcheeba brought an airy electronic sound that swirled into a bassy reggae-dub vibe during Make Believer. There was no shortage of whammy barred solos.

Dreamy delayed guitar mixed with the signature vinyl-scratching of the 90s as Ewards slid across the music with her elegantly smooth voice.

The Sea from their 2003 album, Parts Of The Process, was a highlight for fans, who mainly consisted of those reliving the chilled backyard ambiance of summers passed.

I was definitely among the minority age group - even Edwards was surprised to discover there were members in the crowd younger than 30.

One song melted into another, but if you were hoping for more than tripped out songs to sway to you'd have been fresh out of luck, save Release Me Now, which upped the tempo and broke away from the band's usually spacious sound.

Also, their cover of David Bowie's Let's Dance got everyone grooving along. For the most part however, it was better just close your eyes and let the music absorb you.

It's been 11 years since the last time Morcheeba visited New Zealand. "It does take a long time to get here from London," Edwards confessed. However the band were completely in their element, curating a cool mix of songs both old and new.

Of course it was the band's 1999 R&B hit, Rome Wasn't Built In A Day, that everyone was looking forward to the most. The catchy tune got everyone dancing and singing along during the encore and Skye Edwards got a chance to break away from her sultry breathy singing to belt out the chorus. The song then morphed to finish with Head Up High's Face Of Danger.

After a solid night of synth infused downtempo beats, I now have the sudden urge to dust off Lazy Sunday: Volume 2.

* Morcheeba are now set to play in The Opera House in Wellington tonight.

Who: Morcheeba
Where: The Powerstation, Auckland
When: 10 April

- nzherald.co.nz

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