Si Wright joins Morpheus Rising

We are very pleased to announce that Simon Wright will be joining MORPHEUS RISING to fill the vacancy left by the departure of vocalist Graeme Tennick. Simon’s outstanding vocals with BURNWYLDE prompted MR sticksman Gibbo to get in touch, and as soon as he had recorded a couple of demo vocals on MR tracks it was immediately apparent that Si was the guy we needed.

Rehearsals are due to start this weekend and we are all very excited by the beginning of a new chapter for the band.
In addition to the Cambridge Rock Festival (see separate story), the new line up will return to the studio to continue recording the debut album, a project which was put on hold temporarily while personnel changes were completed. Si will continue to front BURNWYLDE as well as MR.

Following the final shows with Grae at the Forces Festival at Double Hedges near Bulford on May 29th, which MORPHEUS RISING played last year, and York Fibbers on Bank Holiday Monday May 30th, Grae is now due to head to pastures new in Kenya but will remain very much part of the team. He will continue to look after the band’s online presence, a role which he has filled behind the scenes since the band’s beginnings back in 2008.

It is with much sadness that we must announce the departure of Grae Tennick as vocalist for MORPHEUS RISING.

Grae has fronted the band from the beginning, and has been heavily involved in the writing of all the current material. Sadly, due to family commitments, Grae has decided to move from the front of the band into an offstage role looking after the band’s communications, much of which he has been doing for the last two years in addition to his vocal duties.

The last two years have been a really exciting time; getting the band on the road initially – writing, rehearsing, recording, the first show supporting GUN at the Duchess in York in June 2009; the first tour, Lords of the North in 2010, and many more gigs too. Grae’s contribution has been invaluable and we are very grateful for everything he has done for the band both onstage and off.

We have all become firm friends with Grae and his family over the last two years and are all very sorry to see him go, but fully understand that the unexpected opportunity which led to this decision was one which could not be missed. We wish him the very best of luck for the future in everything he does. We are also very pleased that he will stay within the MR family, and will still be part of the team.

MORPHEUS RISING are currently seeking a replacement singer to fill the vacancy, meanwhile the schedule does not slacken. We continue to write and record, ready to be back, all guns blazing with a revised line up in the very near future. Visit the website at http://www.morpheusrising.co.uk for the latest news!

So, here we are again… It’s 2011 and Morpheus Rising are all together.

Finally!

We hear you scream. Trust us, we’ve been just as frustrated as you with the enforced hiatus we’ve suffered for the last six months. But it’s given us time to think, room to breathe and take stock of what we’ve achieved since bursting onto the live music scene in 2009, and space to think clearly and plan for what is yet to come. Not only that, it’s given us time to work quietly on material and take our time preparing for what comes next.

We’ve learnt from each of our releases (a single, an EP and a live album), building on each to garner more support, spread the word and learn our trade. We’ve learnt even more from the live performances, moving from small local venues to festival stages, honing the stagecraft that we believe is essential to this game; you come to see a show as well as hear the music and that’s what we hope you get, not just a performance of the recordings but a show which is an experience in itself.

 

It's an experience, not a performance!

As an aside we’d like to express our disappointment at the demise of yet another live music venue. The Boardwalk in Sheffield where we recorded our debut live release ‘Live at the Boardwalk‘ has announced that it will be closing its doors. The venue has a long history of live music with many well known artists performing there in the past and also a great reputation for supporting independent and up and coming acts. It’s a shame we’ve lost yet another venue.

So, what have we got in store for you so far?

Well, there are a number of live dates in the planning stages, we’ve already confirmed a return appearance at The Forces Festival in late May and will be announcing several others in the near future. We’re also working on a number of dates which could, if all goes to plan, become our second UK tour. Oh yes! Not content with last year’s Lords of the North tour, we’re hoping to extend our reach into the nether regions of the country heading South to the furthest reaches of England. Much of this is still in the very early planning stages and we’ll keep you informed as soon as we can. Just keep an eye on our Live Dates page to make sure you don’t miss out.

More live performances wouldn’t be that important without something to play and we’ve got plenty of that! As we’ve said earlier we’ve continued to work on new material despite us being unable to perform live and, we’re happy to say, we’re now at the recording stage and are planning furiously to release an album this year. We can’t say anything more definite than that. Yes, Ian Massey, we know that won’t satisfy you, but it’s the best we can do!

At this stage the ‘plan’ goes something along the lines of: Rehearse, Record, Play Live, Rehearse, Launch, Tour… This will, of course, get fleshed out over the coming days and weeks and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

Until then, why not pop over to our official site, join up  and listen to the ‘Works in Progress’ we’ve posted so far on the Member’s pages…

We’ll see you soon. All the best,

Grae, Pete, Daymo, Andy and Gibbo
Morpheus Rising
…resurrecting British Heavy Metal!

It’s been a while… again!

Things seem to have been very quiet of late, but that’s all just a cunning ploy to lure you into a false sense of security.

We have a long term plan (not quite a 5 year forecast, but something along those lines) which we’re working towards and the wheels are perpetually in motion at MRHQ trying to keep things on track.

First up, we’re fully supporting the Facebook group created by our friend and fan Andy Rotherham which he’s created to try a RATM style assault on the charts for the weekend of Remembrance Day. Fighting Man by Morpheus Rising for No 1 on Remembrance Day does exactly what it says on the tin. At the moment we’re gathering supporters and very soon there will be details of when and where to buy it from. Last year we manged #2 on the Amazon Charts, this year? Well, let’s see what we can do shall we!

In addition to this activity we are working on some very exciting new material which we’re going to keep close to our chests until Grae comes home and we get the chance to unleash it on you as it should be heard, live and loud! As we’ve already said, the writing process is a novel one with the band writing material at MRHQ and Grae writing lyrics while he’s off gallivanting in Helmand. The results so far are looking promising and they’re coming thick and fast.

Some of the lyrical content can be found on one of Grae’s blogs, the aptly named  ‘Songs from a Distant Theatre‘, where you can keep up to date with his life of helicopter rides, stolen chocolate and disaster recovery procedures… It’s all in a day’s work, apparently! Although not all of the lyrical content seems suitable for the Morpheus Rising treatment we’re sure you’ll agree that which is is sterling stuff!

Obviously, in order to make all this effort worthwhile, we need to get out there and play gigs and that’s where our heads are turning now. We’re already looking at some repeat appearances next year at some of the larger events we played this year and we’re also looking to expand our reach to pastures new. A full blown tour early in the year is unlikely but we are hoping to be able to book a good run of dates with a view to building up momentum throughout the year. Let us know where you think we should play and we’ll do our best ;o)

 

Steve Rothery onstage with Marillion at Marill...

Image via Wikipedia

 

And if that’s not enough for you then keep an eye on Pete’s blog ‘View from the Office’ for an insight into both sides of life in the music industry. Of note will be the forthcoming Deep Purple/Marillion tour on which Pete will be continuing his duties as Steve Rothery‘s guitar tech. It’s a tough life!

Finally we’d like to let everyone know that Maria Jordan, who we played on the same bill with earlier this year, has managed to bag herself a contract with Warner! It couldn’t have happened to a nicer, or more deserving, person and we all wish her the best for the future.

Expect some more news over the coming weeks as the whole band (yes, all of them!) get together for the first time since Grae deployed a few months ago. Who knows what will happen!

Until then, thanks for popping by!

All the best,

Grae, Pete, Daymo, Andy and Gibbo
Morpheus Rising

It’s been another quiet few weeks, but that’s not to say we don’t have any news for you! Firstly, we have recorded two new songs…

Yes! Two completely new, original and lung bashingly powerful ditties have been committed to tape (well, rendered in glorious binary at least). They’re not ready for public consumption yet as Grae only had time for guide vocals prior to his departure but, as a sign of things to come, we think you’ll be more than happy when you get to hear them ;o)

During the next few months the band will be working on various aspects of their ‘real’ lives while continuing to work on material for the album. We already have sufficient material written to release one but we want more! The idea is to release a product which will include material that has been honed in the live environment over the last year while adding some new material written since we finished the tour . The result should be an album of fresh sounding songs displaying the range of genres we’ve embraced during our ‘debutante’ stage.

In the meantime Pete’s busy working with Marillion again and will be touring with both Marillion and Deep Purple on their European stadium tour later this year. And, if you aren’t already aware, he had the opportunity to sit at the feet of stickmeister Mike Portnoy during the recent Transatlantic gig at the High Voltage festival as well as line checking for Steve Hackett… To find out more subscribe to his blog here.

In addition, Grae will be regaling us all with his stories from hot, dusty places while he’s off doing his bit for Queen and Country. It shouldn’t all be depressing and we’re expecting more than a few new lyrical concepts to be born of the heat and sand… You can follow his journey here), it should make us all feel glad to be where we are, if nothing else!

As for Daymo. Well, he’s rekindling a love of all things trance and such :o/ We kid you not! In his youth (i.e. while in nappies) he used to DJ around the student haunts of Manchester (we kid you not!) and he’s recently found some of his own compositions… you can check them out on ReverbNation. We’re led to believe that he’s also working on his fret based skills in order to adorn the new material with Petrucci-esque beauty, we remain to be convinced… ;o)

And Andy? In case you hadn’t noticed Andy is often very busy with his ‘other’ band, Mostly Autumn. At the moment much of his time is taken up recording material for the new album ‘Go Well Diamond Heart’. Details were still sketchy as to release etc, but we’re hearing exciting things about what will be the first MA studio album with Liv at the vocal helm…

And last, but not least, Gibbo… In the absence of Grae, Gibbo has taken up the mantle of the band’s PR agent/manager/bookings agent/media guru and is currently planning World Domination for the early part of next year while working on several projects for the remainder of 2010. We can’t tell you what they are yet as if we did, we’d have to kill you!

You’ll just have to be patient ;o)

All the best,

Grae, Pete, Daymo, Andy and Gibbo
Morpheus Rising

Lords of the North (Part 1)

Posted: June 16, 2010 in classic rock, Gigs, Live

It started with a home town show, traversed the North of England, ventured North of the border, brought a flavour of good old classic Northern metal to the land of the dragon and smiles to more than a few Southerners…


Lords of the North 2010
ran from late April through to the bank holiday weekend at the end of May and was an amazing experience from start to finish. Many new friends were made along the way and existing friendships were strengthened the length and breadth of the country.

The first show of the tour was also the first date on which we would support The Reasoning on their Adverse Camber tour. Fibbers can be an awkward venue to play at times, there are ‘sweet’ spots for the crowd where the sound is concerned and it can sometimes lead to complaints of muffled vocals, too much bass etc. No such issues on this occasion. Everyone who came down, and there were plenty of them (for those who know the venue the crowd spanned from the stage to the sound desk), seemed to really enjoy the show. A short review of the gig can be found here. A high point of the evening was having Anne-Marie Helder, Liv Sparnenn and Bryan Josh along to see the show, surprisingly (despite Andy having a foot in both camps) this was the first time Bryan had seen the band play!

The second gig of the tour saw us headlining a return gig at the Gasworks in Bradford. Our first performance there was in the now ‘old’ Gasworks and this would be only the second night the ‘new’ location had had live music on. Disappointingly the live room hadn’t been completed in time for the show and so the gig was performed in a temporary live area with no stage or riser. Despite this the night went well, again all those present enjoyed themselves. This show saw the first performances of new tracks Let the Sleeper Awake, Fear of Nothing and Shades of Grey which all went down well.

These first two shows were fairly local and in venues we’d played before. They allowed us to ‘bed in’ and work on the show for the shows to follow. The tour would pick up again a few days later when band and crew set off on a road trip…

Part 2 to follow, (Keep your eyes peeled for Academy speeches, cows in hotel rooms and Morpheus Towers!) with video!

Until then, all the best,

Grae, Pete, Daymo, Andy and Gibbo
Morpheus Rising

Over the last 18 months we’ve been flaunting the long-held opinion that it shouldn’t be done and we’re leaving it up to you to let us know if we’re on the right track.

So far you’re making us feel as if we’re getting it right, a huge response to the first single which lead us to make the decision that Fighting Man was a good idea. Over 12,000 views of the official Fighting Man video, #2 for the single on Amazon and so it goes on.

We’re now entering the final stages of the Lords of the North 2010 tour and things are just getting better and better. You can see photos from the first leg of the tour online and, despite the fact there are some stunning shots up there, they just can’t express how much we’ve enjoyed playing for all of you.

The second leg of the tour is now under way and we kicked it all off with a free show on Wednesday at Blandford Camp, the home of the Royal Corps of Signals. This was a tricky one. An audience full of soldiers and their families who were not necessarily going to be fans of our particular brand of rock (a brand which has recently been identified as British Goth Prog Metal?!) and who had just enjoyed the previous sets of a very enjoyable 9 piece soul/disco band aptly named the Souljers. This is also the home of Grae’s Corps, and dotted among the crowd were soldiers who work for him in his day job, peers and superiors who have worked with him over the years in barracks and on operational tours…

Needless to say there were concerns all round. This was, without doubt, the largest headline date we’d played and we were going to have to pull out all the stops to make it work. After a somewhat arduous sound check all we could do was wait for the Souljers to work their magic and get everyone ready for a show. They did, and then we were off!

As we took to the stage dusk was just beginning to give way to the dark of night and people were a little reluctant to come to the stage, rolling from Save the Day to Brave New World they started edging forward and by the time the 3rd number, Fighting Man, was introduced we had a good crowd forming at the stage. during that number it all kicked off, the mosh pit started, the girls were screaming for Daymo (knew there was a reason for having a pretty one in the band!) and by the time we hit mid set there was crowd surfing, horns, screams, singalongs and all fears were cast into the shadows…

The view from Pete's cabs early in the set.

Despite having completed a good number of headline shows we’ve never played An Ordinary Man live. The main reason for this is the difficulty in wedging a single acoustic song into a heavy twin guitar rock set without making it all seem disjointed. This gig gave us the perfect opportunity to air it live for the first time.

At the end of the set we wandered off stage and Josh leapt up and placed the acoustic on stage. Grae and Pete took to the stage and introduced An Ordinary Man explaining the reason for it and then launched into the song. At the first chorus they had to do a double take, the crowd were singing along. A track which was released independently 18 months ago, and then as the ‘B-Side’ to Fighting Man last November and they were singing the chorus? Bring it on! It was a night of countless firsts for us, the obligatory lighters waving during the ballad, a girl on stage leading the waves from the crowd, and so much more…

We’re now looking forward to the last two shows of the tour with bated breath. Next Bank Holiday weekend we’re playing the Patriot Inn in Crumlin as part of their Patriot Games/Party In The Pub weekend festival and then we’re off to Wiltshire to play the Forces Festival, and we can’t think of any better way to finish off the tour.

Oh! And how’s this for rock’n’roll? We’re staying at the Stonehenge Holiday Inn for the last festival date!!

Thanks to everyone who’s come to see us play over the last few weeks, we hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves as much as we’ve enjoyed playing for you, it’s surpassed all our expectations and that’s down to you.

Without you there wouldn’t be a show.

All the best,

Grae, Pete, Daymo, Andy and Gibbo
Morpheus Rising