30 Years of MOR at The Fulford Arms

Eleven bands took to the Fulford Arms’ stage on Sunday to celebrate 30 Years of MOR Music. The store, which opened in 1985, has been supplying York’s music scene with instruments and equipment for three decades. Some of York’s finest bands gathered to pay homage. We run down some of the highlights.

By Graeme Smith
Photos by Chris Mackins and Graeme Smith


Early on were young trio The Filthy Piece. Sounding a bit like if the White Stripes came from the North of England, their lo-fi sound was pure rock and roll, particularly their cover of Arctic Monkeys’ When The Sun Goes Down and their set closer What’s Left.

Van Der Neer and Stonewater then provided the heavy blues portion of the day. Power trio Van Der Neer played an extensive set of loud rock with rhythm and blues elements, shredding guitar solos and frenzied finishes. Stonewater played some big riffs, a la Royal Blood.


Things mellowed out as the afternoon progressed, starting with surfer rock four piece Bull. A pleasing, chilled set, they showed why they are one of the best bands coming out of York at the moment, particularly with track Bonzo Pleasewhich has recently been picked up by BBC Introducing.

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Stonewater – photo by Chris Mackins

Then JUNK. brought some happy-go-lucky indie pop to the proceedings, a cheerier version of The Velvet Underground, singing with perfectly balanced male/female harmonies. Although it was the last gig for their front man, it won’t be a surprise if JUNK. carry on doing their thing.

Racking the pace back up a notch was Atomic Raygun. The black-suited five piece played hard and fast blues, closing with a couple of big covers of The Jungle Book’s King of The Swing and The Sex Pistol’s Pretty Vacant. Their EP out in September is something to really look forward to.

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Junk – photo by Graeme Smith

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Us Amongst The Rest – photo by Graeme Smith

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Hellbound Hearts – photo by Chris Mackins

Things remained upbeat with the optimistic melodies of The Blueprints and the quirky pop of The Rodeo Falls. The wonderful harmonies of the Blueprints were reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac but their set was eclectic, wandering into Brit pop territory and even drawing influence from The Kinks during track Staring at The Sun. The Rodeo Falls folk pop sound was akin to The Wedding Present.


To close the evening, the stage was given over to the heavy rock of Us Amongst The Rest and headliners Hellbound Hearts. With a different singer to their set supporting Funeral For A Friend, Us Amongst The Rest were no less relentless and set closer and single Bring The Fuel is near enough a perfect rock song. Local trio Hellbound Hearts was formed by Terrorvision’s former bassist Danny Lambert and played some pure death metal.

Such a fantastic line-up is a testament to just how much MOR Music is part of the fabric of the York music scene. Here’s to another 30 years!


30 years of MOR Fest took place at the Fulford Arms on Sunday 24 May 2015.