The Morning Benders at the Corner Hotel

There is a little bit of a story on how I discovered the music of The Morning Benders:

Last year, while in London, I worked with a girl named Gemma. She sat directly in front of me, and we would frequently trade band suggestions back and forth. For around a week she talked at length about a band called ‘The Morning Benders’. She was interviewing them for the website which we both worked for. They also seemed to be coming up frequently in the conversation during other work activities. Their second album ‘Big Echo’ had just come out.

Since every week of my job consisted of these kinds of conversations, I blissfully ignored them, figuring they would fall on my musical radar eventually if they really were that good.

Gemma put together a Spotify playlist, which I was listening to one afternoon, a couple of days after her interview. Into my ears came sweeping strings and a tune which to me sounded like it was something from The Dodos. I checked what I was listening to, and was surprised to find it was the opening track off ‘Big Echo’ titled ‘Excuses’.

I was disheartened to find out that I had missed their only 2 London show dates in the near future, and made myself the promise to see them if I ever got the chance.

In November I found they were playing Falls Festival, but unfortunately, again I had missed the chance, as the tickets had been sold out for months.

In early December, while back in Christchurch, I found they had booked a show at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. I instantly booked tickets for the chance to see them. So with much excitement on the 5th of January 2011, I saw my first show of the year, and blissfully finally saw The Morning Benders live.

I didn’t take photos because my camera batteries had died; but the AU Review has some lovely pictures here

The Corner Hotel was not completely full, but due to the evening heat this was a blessing. The crowd was however enthusiastic enough to make up for the fact it wasn’t a completely full house. Hailing from California, The Morning Benders showed their appreciation at length for the crowd which had assembled to see them. This was their first visit to Australia and this youthful quartet definitely made the most of this Falls sideshow.

The band played the entire of ‘Big Echo’ along with a smattering of songs from ‘Talking Through Tin Cans’- the band’s debut album from 2008. They also treated the crowd to a sing along with their cover song of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’.

At the end of the show, lead singer Chris Chu tentatively inquired if  the band was to return to Australia, whether the assembled crowd would come to see them again. The audience erupted in agreement that they would definitely be there, and most likely with everyone they knew in tow.

Fingers crossed, The Morning Benders will be gracing the shores of Australia again before the end of 2011.

Full setlist (minus encore) via

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