Wall Tavern, Whitstable Sunday 27 July 2014
welcome addition to Whitstable's live music scene, The
Wall Tavern hosted an intimate gig performed with confidence and
panache by the young Canterbury based singer/songwriter Ella
Morgan. Elegantly tall, she has the beautifully striking
look of a poetess about her, borne out by the maturity and
finesse of her intriguing lyrics.
Ella delivered an eclectic
set accompanied by her amplified acoustic guitar of self
written songs alternating with an inspired choice of covers.
There was a degree of irony in terms of commencing a pub
gig with one of her own songs titled Turn Your Back On
The Bar which, while sounding a note of wise caution
about the excesses of alcohol, was in no way 'preachy' but
as emphasised in her later song Emily ..."I have
no sympathy just empathy".
With fascinating jumps of material
it's impossible to define her music within a particular genre,
covering as it does a very wide waterfront indeed; from the
'blues belter' of Muddy Waters' I've Got My Mojo Working to
the delicate 'chanson realiste' sensitivities of Ella's reflective
song Pieces. That mood was then contrasted by T
Rex's 20th Century Boy before her metaphorically
stark and dramatically impacting Poison, which in
turn was mellowed out by Midnight Train To Georgia ... that
great Soul song by Gladys Knight & The
There were several surprises not least an impromptu
flamenco intro to Hit The Road Jack and an unexpected
acoustic Voodoo Child! An outstanding version of
The Cranberries Zombie was received attentively as is only
proper considering it's subject matter is the effects of
'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland and the repercussions
Ella's song Emily had a warm reception as did
also her deep and profoundly moving rendition of the Stone's
Wild Horses ... she has an impressive ability to build the
dynamics of a song layer by layer to considerable effect.
Her mix of idiosyncratic phrasing and the occasional manifestations
of her New Zealand accent combined exotically at times.
highlight was her beautiful song River Of Air (one
of the five original songs on her current EP) and this song
undoubtedly indicated Ella's ability to combine insightful
poetic lyrics, here referencing loss, displacement, and a
yearning for former times with an exactly appropriate melody.
This was followed by a powerful performance of In The
Pines a traditional song made famous by Leadbelly, and also made
contemporary again by Nirvana; but as is often the way, a
woman's fine voice found other nuances, and drew further
depths from this classic and chilling song.
One or two songs
would possibly have been enhanced by the electric guitar
which Ella also plays, and which provides the backing and
coda to some of her songs on the EP, but this was an acoustic
gig, and within those parameters all of her material worked
fabulously well. Considering the heatwave at the time
her encore of Janis Joplin's interpretation of George Gershwin's
Summertime was an ideal choice, and was also an excellent
showcase for Ella's several octaves instrument of a voice;
as with all the songs she sings it was rendered with authenticity
Ella Morgan has music in her heart and soul, and
a rare gift in being able to share this generously with her
audience with unaffected humour and directness. I'm sure many
more enthusiasts of fine music in the Local & Live area
and beyond will soon have the opportunity to discover
this for themselves.
Submitted by Nigel