Anto Morra is first and foremost a singer whose formative years were spent going to gigs, listening to Punk Rock and not singing! He only realised that he had a voice when friends overheard him singing along to records & he joined his first band as a singer in 1988. The following year he started to teach himself guitar, however song lyrics had been an obsession he had from his early years, so as soon as he had learnt a few chords there was instantly a lot of songs he could play.
- The diversity of London 87%
- The Craic of the Irish 93%
- The passion of Punk 99%
- And The clarity of Folk 96%
Leaping a decade Anto graduated Norwich School of Art, and while working to pay off his student loan he met a guitar player who suggested he learn some Irish standards. Anto had heard so many as a child from his Irish parents, and took to the songs like a duck to water and soon found he was being booked to play to audiences the songs he loved. Before long, he was working in a busy Ceilidh Band and performing at weddings and village halls all over East Anglia. In 2006, Anto wrote ‘Shamrock & the Rose’ and discerning folk audiences were reacting in such a positive way that Anto decided to start taking his song writing and performing more seriously.
Anto Morra has yet to meet an audience that he cannot entertain, and is as happy performing 100% acoustic in a folk club as he is deafeningly loud to a room full of Punk Rockers! He maintains a policy to always start and finish a performance with one of his own songs and what happens between them depends entirely on those in the room and their interaction with him. The only time a set list is written is when he chooses to perform with other musicians.
As well as the numerous pubs, clubs and festivals Anto has performed, he has enjoyed playing in such legendary venues as Glastonbury festival, Cambridge Strawberry Fair and London’s The Hope & Anchor, The Dublin Castle, The Water Rats, and in Dublin he played the Guinness Hop Store museum. One of his proudest moments was in 2015 he had the honour of performing his own composition ‘Edith Louisa Cavell’ in Norwich Cathedral as part of the centenary memorial service of Edith Cavell’s execution. The performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 as part of their ‘Morning Worship’ programme.
In 2013 he released his debut album ‘Never Had To Shout’ 10 self penned songs showcasing a unique London Irish Punk Folk style and was pressed on vinyl as well as CD. The Patriot EP was released in 2014 and was 5 songs recorded at the same sessions as the debut album.
2015 saw two collaborations: the first was EP ‘Patriotism Is Not Enough’ (The Edith Cavell Story) with concertina player Percy Paradise released in October; and the second release was in November called ‘Boudicca’s Country’ and consisted of 12 songs with lyrics written by poet, playwright and novelist Gareth Calway.
To mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, the album ‘16’ was released and launched on St Patricks Day and consisted of some of his favourite contemporary and traditional Irish songs. Folk tradition, cultural roots, the audience interaction and fun of the music hall are at the heart of Anto’s work.
5 Beautifully Packaged Recordings
NEVER HAD TO SHOUT
Debut album of London Irish Punk Folk fables about murder and gangsters. Features “anthem” ‘London Irish’ (FRoots).
“Lyrics that resonate with the listener” – The Express
“Heartfelt songwriting from a unique voice” – Rough Trade
“Refreshingly authentic” – Matthew Wright Channel 5
5 more Punk Folk songs recorded at the same studio sessions as the debut album and featuring “the killer track”, ‘Where’s Daddy Gone’ (R2).
“Catchy songs that make you smile and that you can sing along with straight away and dark, nitty gritty material from an engaging live performer” – Folk London
PATRIOTISM IS NOT ENOUGH
The Edith Cavell story. Released to commemorate the centenary of the execution and recorded in the chapel where she grew up. This is a 5 song CD of unacompanied song linked by short concertina tunes.
“In its direct simplicity it is the most affecting musical memorials to the ’14-’18 war I have heard” – R2 Rock ‘N’ Reel
A collection of 12 songs using lyrics by poet Gareth Calway with melodies by Anto. Many in the ballad tradition and all based on historical events, people and places of the East of England.
“This CD works on a number of levels and was a pleasure to review” – Fatea Magazine
16 traditional and contemporary Irish songs recorded to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Featuring ‘Shamrock and the Rose’.
“A unique talent that grabs you and forces you to listen. Pure Folk Punk” – London Celtic Punks
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