GREG LAMBERT writes...My musician friend Cameron Seddon turned to me during the opening set on Friday night. “Mark my words, she will play Glastonbury within two years.” The subject of this high praise was Molly Warburton; 17 years old and blessed with a voice from the gods.
If you haven’t seen Molly, trust me, you need to. Her vocal is world class, startling in its commanding power and unique diction. And she’s from Carnforth.
Wielding an acoustic guitar that somehow looks too big for her delicate frame, Molly owned Janis Joplin’s ‘Take Another Little Piece of My Heart’, letting rip with resounding notes from some place deep within her soul, endearing herself to a mesmerised audience with a blushing smile almost with embarrassment at the extent of her own talent.
Molly and her band The Shady Days set the bar sky-high for Morecambe’s homage to Jools Holland’s TV show. The rest of the bill made a great fist of trying to meet it. What followed was one of the best nights of live music I’ve ever seen in town.
This was six acts, three stages, hundreds of onlookers and one compere Steven ‘Jools’ Wren, holding it all together with loveable wit and a lot of running around.
Every performer brought their A-game and something different. Joe McCorriston, a have-guitar will-travel gig machine from Morecambe who is about to embark on a 16-date UK tour, cheerfully pleaded with the crowd to buy his album so he could pay for petrol, his two short sets crammed with down-to-earth songwriting charm. He was followed by The Mad Erics, a veteran ‘super-group’ of local musicians who kicked up the party atmosphere a notch with their sheer enthusiasm for Mavericks covers. Soul Saboteur from Manchester produced accomplished indie-blues. Meanwhile The Minstrels of Power comeback was an absolute scream. Bonkers front man Ian Ady’s gesturing, gyrating and face-pulling complimented some rollicking great rock tunes; think Bad Manners meets Judas Priest.
As for The Bottlenecks, well, the night began on a high and ended in much the same vein. Never have the Morecambe pub favourites played better, Martin Fleming, Anthony Gregson and Dominic Clayton a harmonious locomotive of rock. Piercing in its power and verve, lead singer Simon Thornton’s vocal range on ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘Comfortably Numb’ was simply astonishing.
This was three hours of non-stop entertainment with never a dull moment. The Platform sound system was on top form all night long and there were even two bars. A night of near perfection.
See you at Glasto in 2015.