REVIEW: Rae relishes festival return

Singer-songwriter Rae Morris proved the perfect opening act for the newly rebranded Lytham Festival.

Singer-songwriter Rae Morris proved the perfect opening act for the newly rebranded Lytham Festival.

Rae Morris performs live on stage at the Lowther Pavilion to launch the Lytham Festival

Rae Morris performs live on stage at the Lowther Pavilion to launch the Lytham Festival

In a set featuring her singles Don’t Go, Cold, Closer, Under The Shadows and Love Again as well as tracks from her debut album Unguarded, released in January, Rae perfectly blended a husky lower register with soaring melodies.

And she proved her class as a live act, with three-piece band, as one of those rare talents who sounds even better live than through the recording studio speakers and trickery.

The sell-out audience included a large crowd of friends and family, headed up by mum and dad Lesley and Neil, both bursting with pride as always - ending the night, hoisted over the crowd on a couple of well-wishers’ shoulders, much to Rae’s surprise from the stage.

Between tracks the young star, something of a darling of Radio One having risen through the BBC Introducing ranks, paid tribute to her home town and her ‘proud’ Blackpool roots as well as her connection to ‘the posh bit’ Lytham, where her nana - also in the crowd - lives.

New BBC Radio Lancashire Introducing favourites Kiings, initially launched last summer as Golden Wings, provided support, with a mature-sounding set for such a relatively new act.

The five-piece from Blackpool, who played a mix of original material and covers, can hopefully take inspiration from Rae’s career so far and the humble beginnings of a similar support slot.

Former St George’s High School pupil Rae took a brief moment to look back on her success - remembering playing Lowther four years ago, as an unknown artist competing for a chance to support Status Quo at the then-Lytham Proms.

“I didn’t win,” she admitted, laughing. “I was gutted.”

But it’s hardly stifled her career and we can only hope that in another couple of years she’ll be headlining the main stage.

* Read more and see more photos in tomorrow’s Gazette.