Good Morning – The Castle Hotel, Manchester – 27/09/17

Anyone who’s anyone is a Good Morning fan. The slacker Aussie duo rose to prominence back with 2014’s debut, Shawcross –  a dreamy collection of tracks that came to define Liam Parsons and Stefan Blair’s slacker aesthetic. Still struggling to define the band? Put it like this – it’s no surprise that there’s a collective sigh of happiness when Mac DeMarco’s ‘Brother’ begins to blare out from the pre-gig playlist.

It’s fair to say that after the laughs and cheers the group receive, not enough bands walk out to Ray Parker Jr.’s ‘Ghostbusters’. The bobble-hat and fleece gilet-adorned guitarists are flanked by touring members James Macleod and John Considine – the drummer and bassist who have come to define Good Morning’s live appearance. “It’s great to be in Manchester, a place we’ve always wanted to play” smiles Parsons. “You guys have got a lot of good shit – including 90.1 Legacy FM!”

Shawcross’s ‘Once You Know’ kicks us off, feeling surprisingly (and thankfully) raw with its repetitive guitar hook that earns a well-deserved sway from the crowd. ‘Before My Ears Explode’ follows suit, seeing Parsons lull “don’t wait too long I won’t need you; don’t stay too long I won’t see you” to a backdrop of calm bass licks and methodical drums. There’s no need for expenisve lights or crazy visuals when the music’s this good. the quartet earn mass screams and cheers after every song – including an actual scream of “I wanna have your babies!”.

Everyone gets a little closer as ‘Don’t Come Home Today’ pulls us all in, the bass romantic and almost waltz-like. Good Morning have spawned a number of bands that sound like them with their distinctive hazy vibe; 2015’s ‘On the Street’ is at times Ultimate Painting; the vocal swoops of Glory’s ‘Give Me Something to Do’ call to mind (Sandy) Alex G. The Western-style guitar twangs of latest release ‘Oppsie’ sound irresistibly good, the hot and sweaty audience lapping up a tune that proves Good Morning haven’t lost their magic over their three years.

With a set littered with moments of beauty, it’s difficult to pick a highlight – but it’s ‘Warned You’ that ultimately scoops the prize, its little riffs and famous melody winning over Manchester’s heart. It’s sad when a gig like this has to finally come to its end – especially one where Parsons fills in the gaps between songs with “band facts” that include “when James was born, his mom was listening to the Twin Peaks theme”. As the last reverb chords of ‘Bittersweet’ draw to a close, it’s clear that as everybody slowly bops away, there’s only one thing that they’re in love with – and that’s Good Morning.

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