Ipswich: Ex-Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss plays The Rep tonight

Mark Morriss plays The Rep, Ipswich, tonight

Mark Morriss plays The Rep, Ipswich, tonight - Credit: Archant

I’ve caught ex-Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss up to his elbows in paint, decorating the kids’ rooms. Twenty-four hours later, he’s much happier.

“No, I hate decorating. It’s so monotonous and boring, you can never tell when you’ve finished,” he says when I ask if he finds it a soothing way to get his mind off gigs and recording.

The singer-songwriter, coming to The Rep, in Tower Street, Ipswich, tonight as part of Furry LIVE, is now a successful solo artist after The Bluetones’ called it a day in 2011 after 17 years and six albums.

Often labelled as Britpop survivors, the Slight Return stars had 13 top 40 singles and three top 10 albums in the UK charts.

He’s no stranger to Suffolk, having also played LeeStock Music Festival in Sudbury.

“I guess I’m doing okay, a lot of people keep inviting me back,” he laughs. “I had a great time the last time I was in Ipswich.”

Some performers don’t like revisiting part glories; not Morriss.

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“It would kind of be a bit churlish of me not to (play Bluetones’ tracks). I’m very proud of that back catalogue so it’s a pleasure really to duck in there and play a couple of the oldies. I’ll be playing a selection of songs from my own records but I can take requests from the floor as well. I like to keep it interesting and stimulating for myself.”

That must open him up to weird requests?

“People kind of get the wrong end of the stick and (ask for) a big piano driven number which isn’t really suited to playing on an acoustic guitar,” he laughs.

With so many bands reforming, is there a chance of Bluetones revival?

“It’s only about 15 or 16 months since the band finished and we’ve not thought about reforming. Sometimes you think they (other bands) must have unfinished business between themselves, sometimes it’s quite obviously just for the money.

“We always maintained it was a really good time in The Bluetones and it’s a good story. We’ve left behind a body of work we can be very proud of and we just felt sometimes things go on too long, you know? We wanted to leave it as a nice perfect story with a beginning, a middle and an end.

“I wouldn’t jump to conclusions myself about anyone else I know, like I say, everyone’s got their own story. Sometimes it’s sad when bands or artists outstay their welcome and you wonder if they’ve still got anything to give?”

Any message for the fans coming to next Friday’s gig?

“Well, I hope their gander is up just as it was last time I was in town. I had a great time before so if there can be half as much as enthusiasm in the room as then we’ll be doing fine.”

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