Russell Morris is the first to admit he is back from the dead. In fact, he jokes he is Lazarus. Morris had a musical rebirth because he followed his gut and recorded the album he wanted to make, against all odds.
Sharkmouth is that album. It has became Russell’s first Top 10 album ever and a few weeks ago spent two weeks at number one on ARIA’s Australian Artists. That’s not bad for an old bugger!
Last night I had my first chance to hear the songs from Sharkmouth performed live. Russell and his band played at Melbourne’s Flying Saucer Club (the venue is also one of the city’s best kept secrets, but that’s another story).
The Morris show was ‘Sharkmouth’, followed by greatest hits, followed by encore.
How many 64-year old artists with a new album can play their entire album and maintain the interest of the crowd? ‘Sharkmouth’ is a complete body of work. It takes the audience by the hand and tells multiple stories about Australia’s more colourful past. It works to be played live as a complete piece and as a concept/blues album it is different enough to fascinate and captivate the crowd.
That leaves the second half of the show for the greatest hits of Russell Morris. When Russell Morris plays his hits back to back you really appreciate how many there were. Russell had bona-fide classics from the late 60s and early 70s including ‘The Real Thing’, ‘Part 3 Into Paper Walls’, ‘Rachel’, ‘Hush’, ‘Sweet Sweet Love’, ‘Wings On An Eagle’ and ‘Mr America’. Hearing all of those songs one after each other showcased a musical achievement we rarely see achieved from new artists these days.
The band is a real band featuring Russell (guitar) with Mitch Cairns (bass), Peter Robinson (guitar) and John Creech (drums). It was real musicians playing real music to a real crowd in a bar environment. (Just like the good ol’ days).
Russell will be performing across Australia through until November. The next shows are May 17 and 18 in Cairns, Queensland.
The setlist from Flying Saucer Club, Melbourne was:
Black Dog Blues (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Bendigo Blues (unreleased)
Big House (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Sharkmouth (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Walk My Blues (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Bout To Break (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Les Darcy (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Squizzy (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Money Don’t Grow (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
The Real Thing (single, 1969, peak no. 1)
Part 3 into Paper Walls (single, 1969, peak no 1)
Wings Of An Eagle (single, 1972, peak no 9)
Rachel (single 1970, peak no. 25)
It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (single 1967)
Mr America (single 1970, peak no. 8)
Hush (single 1967)
Sweet Sweet Love (single 1971, peak no 9)
Please Please Me (Beatles cover)
May 17, The Reef Casino, Cairns, Australia
May 18, The Reef Hotel Casino, Cairns, Australia
May 25, Blues on Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia
May 26, Blues On Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia
Jun 12, Friends Restaurant, Perth WA, Australia
Jun 13, NEWPORT HOTEL, Fremantle, Australia
Jun 14, Charles Hotel, Perth, Australia
Jun 15, The Ravenswood, Ravenswood, Australia
Jun 28, Country Club Showroom, Launceston, Australia
Jun 29, Wrest Point Showroom, Hobart, Australia
Jul 04, Milton Theatre, Milton, Australia
Jul 05, Club Sapphire, Merimbula, Australia
Jul 06, Vikings Club Auditorium, Erindale, Australia
Sep 12, Toronto Workers Club, Toronto, Australia
Sep 13, Hexham Bowling Club, Hexham, Australia
Sep 14, Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Batemans Bay Nsw, Australia
Sep 15, Wests New Lambton, New Lambton, Australia
Sep 21, Spiegeltent – Brisbane Festival, Brisbane, Australia
Sep 22, Spiegeltent – Brisbane Festival, Brisbane, Australia
Oct 04, Deni Ute Muster, Deniliquin Nsw, Australia
Oct 05, Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, Australia
Oct 06, Great Southern Blues Festival, Narooma, Australia
Oct 11, SS & A CLUB, Albury Nsw, Australia
Oct 12, Lake Wendouree Foreshore, Ballarat, Australia
Oct 13, Lake Weeroona Festival, Bendigo, Australia
Oct 18, Angelsea Music Festival, Anglesea, Australia
Oct 19, Akoostik Music Festival, Wingham, Australia
Nov 03, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Wangaratta, Australia
Nov 08, Blues at Bridgetown, Bridgetown, Australia
Nov 09, Blues at Bridgetown, Bridgetown, Australia
Nov 10, Blues at Bridgetown, Bridgetown, Australia
Watch the Noise11 interview with Russell Morris talking track by track about Sharkmouth: