Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Whatever happened to... Morgan?

I loved Morgan. Well, more specifically, I loved Morgan’s Y2K-released debut record Organized. Back then, at the turn of the millennium, I was an undergraduate student perplexed by the beats of Freddy Fresh, the brutality of Wu Tang and the linguistic cuteness of the Kinks. Music felt like a jamboree; a pick ‘n’ mix of sonics that fitted into my not so fitting Mini-disc player when I made those infrequent ventures to campus between the sweat-beaded throb of clubland. It wasn’t that I didn’t know music, it’s that I wanted to know too much; I had to consume every chord, every melody, every sound that ever existed. Ah... to be young, foolish and ambitious.

All in all, I was a bit of a confused monkey in my fledgling years but Morgan Nicholls – he of Senseless Things fame – changed that. Organized was a rainbow-bright swash of all that intrigued me. It took the summer-time pop sloping of the Beach Boys and beaded it together with slithers of Hip-Hop, Soul, Funk, Electro, Synth-tronica and – Christ – even kiddy pop. I can still hear the heavenly chords of opener Flying High that swooshed deliciously through my lugs and into that piece of grey matter that incited the fluttering of a thousand butterfly wings in my malnourished belly. The irrepressible Miss Parker and Fistful of Love were equally magnificent, each blessed with swathes of schoolyard samples and ice-pop melodics. Sure they were flawed, but that was the appeal: who wants prolonged perfection when you can have a few scorching moments of brilliance that’ll remain forever in the mind?

So aye, Organized was my album of a long, arduous summer spent in the belly of the Fringe but, sadly, Morgan Nicholls never followed it up. So where’d he go? Oddly, he’s moved on to bigger and better things: he hooked up with Gorillaz, spent time kicking rhymes with Mike Skinner and The Streets and, perhaps most bizarrely, now play keys for gargantuan, shit-shifting decibel merchants Muse. All well and good, I guess, but it’s disappointing to discover that someone who played such a big part in a rather important window of my life now scurries in the shadows of those I despise. It’s funny how things turn out.

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