9–13 April 2020
I remember watching Morcheeba at Bluesfest. Skye Edwards, the embodiment of chilled out groove, with this spectacular honey-smooth vocal and this vibrant red silk dress that seemed to move to the music. In fact every time she hit the stage across that festival, we wanted to see what she was wearing. Speaking to her in the UK the other day, I had to ask about that dress… and then was informed she had made it! In fact she makes all her stage outfits!
‘I make a new collection for each tour – on one day it was a leather bodice, and another day it will be burgundy and chiffon – I sew them and design them myself. Over 25 years ago I went to fashion college – I didn’t do too well then because there was a lot of writing, and all I wanted to do was pin fabric on the mannequin and make clothing, so I failed.’
Wow, hard to believe someone with that kind of talent could fail. Skye has no intention of ever making it a business. It’s what she does for the love of it, and it certainly adds something spectacular to Morcheeba’s stage show.
Recently her love of fabric was met by the love of music of a man who sold fabric!
‘I met this guy and he works as a buyer and seller of fabrics for Liberties in London – they are known for their florals and silks and prints, and it turns out he’s a big Morcheeba fan. He said, would you like to see the archives of the Liberty? It was hand drawings of prints and fabrics – he travelled all around the world bringing back samples of fabric, and the guy gave me several metres of fabric; he said I am just a fan of your music… you have given me the gift of music – I will give the gift of fabric.’
Those fabrics have been transformed into Skye’s creations for her upcoming tour.
Morcheeba’s band history reads like one of those relationships where it’s passionate, it’s over, it’s back on, it’s off. Starting out with the Godfrey brothers in 1995, today it’s Skye and Ross Godfrey who harmoniously front Morcheeba, with Ross’s brother Paul stepping out some years ago.
‘It’s like a marriage,’ laughs Skye. ‘We have been through a divorce, we have fought over the kids! We started out so young – Ross was 18 when he started out, and they had been doing music together before we started. We separated for seven years – they got a few singers – that’s how Ross met his wife! She was a Morcheeba singer. It was important for us to have that breathing space, and when it was time to get back together, we had an appreciation of each other. That was 2009, but by 2013 Paul said he didn’t want to be part of the band – there was a bit of drama about the name, but now the line up is Ross and I, and we are stronger than ever – we have a great band, and a great crew, and it feels amazing to be on stage.’
Morcheeba are in the process of recording their latest album – something Skye says ‘Feels really good. Like it’s going to be a healing record. Just real good and vibey, mellow and down tempo.’
Skye gained a fresh appreciation for the power of music recently when she was playing a concert in Santiago, the largest city in Chile.
‘There was a peaceful protest in the streets about an increase in public transport fares, and then the government sent in the army with tear gas. We had to do our gig that night – it was a sold out show. It was the best show of our tour, even though the whole place had gone crazy and the city was in lockdown, there was that feeling of good energy for an hour and a half. It was so surreal. And so frightening. Here were soldiers firing rubber bullets at people banging on pots and pans. I am not under any illusions that our music will change the world, but sometimes you can put on your headphones and just forget about it!’
Skye Edwards brings her spectacular presence to Bluesfest this year with Morcheeba. Don’t miss them. 9–13 April 2020. Bluesfest.com.au
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