Luke Morley — Songs From The Blue Room (Conquest)

Just imagine, for a moment, an alternative world where Luke Morley is a lazy fucker who lets the royalties roll in, rests on his proverbial laurels and would rather watch his beloved Manchester City, with a cold beer in hand, than write another song.

Actually, the last bit might be true.

But let’s get back to that imaginary world.

Morley’s made his name and made his fortune (it’s all relative). He’s dallied with solo albums a couple of times before but can’t be arsed to go down that road again.

The day job with Thunder keeps him busy enough and why on earth would he risk a copper-plated reputation for the sake of a record where he’d have to play all the instruments (bar the drums) for very little return?

And all without his best mate Danny.

Nope. In the alternative world of Luke Morley, releasing a solo record hot on the heels of Thunder’s mentally draining double album Dopamine makes no sense at all.

It’s ridiculous, in fact.

But back to reality.

In truth, making another new record is the most Morley thing in the world.

He claims to have given himself a year off after completing Songs From The Blue Room and Dopamine but hard evidence is required.

You see, it’s impossible to imagine the man behind a flawless canon of Britsh blues rock kicking his heels for more than two hours, let alone 12 months.

Morley’s concept of a year off is, of course, likely to be very different to yours or mine.

Where the rest of us might dream of days on the beach, Thunder’s keen thinker is probably looking forward to spending quality time cuddled up with his favourite capo.

Or exercising with his trusty Papermate pen until the muscle memory produces more words tailor made for the previous night’s melody.

Let’s face it, in the real world Luke Morley doesn’t do downtime.

He does songs. And lots of them.

Morley’s no young pup and yet this old dog’s still capable of teaching the next generation a few new tricks.

When it comes to the subjective craft of songwriting, few do it better and Songs From The Blue Room is a kaleidoscopic case in point.

Layer upon layer of meticulously imagined melody jostles for position with some seriously affecting lyrics (check out Errol Flynn, Nobody Cares or the gloriously reflective Killed By Cobain).

And there’s no escaping the overriding sense that this might be Morley’s love letter to the much-missed Tom Petty.

Hazy Americana criss-crosses with faithful indie-folk and pulses of pure pop goodness — Damage reveals a voice underused and underrated under the Thunder banner.

The joyous optimism underpinning I Wanna See The Light, featuring sumptuous backing vocals courtesy of Julie Maguire and Carly Greene, showcases Morley’s art at its finest.

And new single Watch The Sun Go Down is a wonderful, white hot snapshot of Songs From The Blue Room at its brilliant best.

Through it all, the trusty Dave McCluskey maintains a typically tight beat — the former Union man reprising a partnership that sparkled a decade ago.

Luke Morley didn’t need to make another record. But he did it anyway.

And the superior Songs From The Blue Room is the personification of a musician for whom standing still and stepping back is pure anathema.

Read Rushonrock’s exclusive interview with Luke Morley here.