20 Years of Indie: Mark Morriss’ Slight Return


The year is 1996, and Britpop is at it’s peak. The NME and Melody Maker cost £0.75p(!) 

Oasis have gone in at number one with “What’s The Story…” Supergrass have won “Best breakthrough act” at the Brit Awards (when it meant something.), meanwhile Pulp win the Mercury Music Prize. There is a flurry of classic, seminal, début albums including 1977 by Ash, K by Kula Shaker and Expecting To Fly by The Bluetones, which hits number one in February. 

I’ve not eaten lunch for months, as I save my daily £1.50 and head down to PR Sounds to see Craig, and flip through the 99p 7″ rack again. Week of releases are always £1, and if I bring all my red PR Sounds bags back, I get a free one. If I save for two days, I can afford a CD single AND a 7″. 

Well it’s no wonder I ended up promoting, and I am so skinny. 

With that in mind, I am absolutely delighted to invited MARK MORRISS, front man, iconic vocalist and principle songwriter in The Bluestones, back to Devizes. 

His first outing here was a Fringe event for Devizes Festival, and all 75 of us squeezed into the Lamb. I had to make a quick apology to Ed Fruen for nicking half his CD’s to copy to tape and hope he doesn’t notice. (and kids, we had to do this in real time too. None of that ripping and burning malarkey). Mark sends me to the bar to buy Whisky, and I bloody miss “Marblehead Johnson” but somehow, none of that matters, as Mark reels off all the songs I used to jot down the lyrics to (we didn’t have Google then). 

Well time has been kind to The Bluetones, and Marks solo material has stayed eloquently strong. We’re planning on an 1996 indie disco too, so it’ll be every bit as nostalgic as it is new and exciting. 

Support comes from long time Sheer fav, and a guy who promotes much bigger gigs than I do, all the way from Warminster let me introduce MR LEANDER MORALES. He will be joined in a one off special by Katherine Brewer. Leander pedals a modern singer-songwriter style, with graphic stories about relationships. I’ve always been impressed by how many people tell me they liked him after his sets. 

Opening the show will be a legend in the 1996 Devizes music scene. Bill Green used to run indie disco nights down the Corn Exchange back in the 90’s and insist half way through the night to stop, and give the audience acoustic renditions of his favourite songs from the time. Normally Oasis. He’s past that now, but remains tickled pink to support such luminaries as Gary Stringer and Corky in this same building. 

TICKETS cost just £8 advance, with any remaining being £10 on the door. Available from WeGotTickets or SeeTickets.
Doors 8pm.

8.45 – 9.15 – Billy Green
9.30 – 10 – Leander Morales & Katherine Brewer
10.15 – finish – MARK MORRISS



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