BOWES & MORLEY are Daniel Bowes and Luke Morley, in regular life singer and guitarist of British Rockers THUNDER. For the second time they are coming around “solo” now and if you ask yourself now, why, they have THUNDER, here they approach the whole thing a lot more relaxed and also break out of Rock with bluesy, at times almost Latino-like songs and rhythms. And this could cause some THUNDER fans to look at “Mo’s Barbeque” a little askance as you almost automatically would expect something similar, which you do not really get.
The influences on this album very obviously come from the Seventies, from the rhythms to the melodies and the influences from Blues and Funk, at times some passages almost sound a bit like Soul and take the listener by surprise. The guitar at times only plays a secondary role, while the song with its many different shadings (besides piano and Hammond organ you also find trumpet, saxophone and trombone on this album) is in the foreground. Purist might be a good attribute that I could use here, because if you do not get one thing on “Mo’s Barbeque”, then big frills or even bombast.
Besides more relaxed own compositions such as “Desire” or the quiet "Since I Left Her" the Brits also have taken on four classics, "Living For The City" by Stevie Wonder, "Why Did You Do It" by STRETCH, a great version of FREE’s "Come Together In The Morning" and Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand The Rain" that most of you will know from Tina Turner’s version, which all almost seamlessly blend in with Morley’s compositions and also show the versatility of his song writing.
Luke Morley herewith also proves that he is a composer that has more than “just” the first class Rock of THUNDER and is able to unite many different influences into compact compositions. And to lose many words about the class of a Danny Bowes would be a waste of them, because he has an almost perfect Rock voice, rough, but emotional, melodic, but powerful, with some true memorability.
As said before, if you expect THUNDER-like Hard Rock, you might be disappointed by the outcome as we get a lot less Rock and even less Hard here. Still that should not hold you off from checking out “Mo’s Barbeque”, if you like the Rock of the Seventies. (Online March 3, 2004)