CULTURE

New-look Morcheeba in Athens

Back with a new album, their fifth, the top-selling British act Morcheeba are touring again with two shows planned for Athens this Friday and Saturday, at the Rodon club. Morcheeba’s two shows at the venue are among the final few to be staged there as it prepares to finally close down later this month following 17 years of business. The club intends to reopen at a new address, but details have yet to be announced. What will become of the current 1,800-capacity club, an old theater that was converted into a rock venue back in 1987, also remains unknown. The laid-back yet dance-friendly British act, based around the brothers Ross and Paul Godfrey, will be appearing with a new vocalist, Daisy Martey, following the departure of Sky Edwards. Martey, who joined Morcheeba following a spell with a far less established act, Noonday Underground, sang on her new band’s latest album, «The Antidote.» It comes three years after its predecessor, «Charango,» which included a guest vocal appearance from Kurt Wagner, frontman of Lambchop, the Nashville-based country-lounge collective. Older fans may justifiably be wary of the group’s change on vocals, but Martey, Morcheeba’s latest addition, is already beginning to generate some deservedly positive feedback with her singing performance on «The Antidote.» Album highlights include «Wonders Never Cease,» «Ten Men,» the melodic «Lighten Up,» and the soul tune «Daylight Robbery.» To date, Morcheeba’s work, beginning with 1996’s debut release «Who Can You Trust,» has generated album sales of over 5 million copies. Besides drawing masses of fans, Morcheeba has also appealed to several distinguished musicians, including Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and David Byrne. Byrne, the former Talking Heads frontman, invited Morcheeba for collaboration on his «Feelings» album back in 1997. For their latest album, «The Antidote,» Morcheeba took a different approach. Rather than use computerized beats, as the musicians had done until recently, they opted to use real percussion, which resulted in a warmer traditional feel to the band’s new music. Compared to the band’s older material, the new work sounds far brighter. It should be noted that these days Morcheeba tend to perform at larger venues, which makes their upcoming Rodon club dates particularly worthwhile. Morcheeba, Friday (13/5) and Saturday (14/5), Rodon, 24 Marni, Athens (tel 210.524.7427).