This 45-minute documentary was released in five parts, like a Youtube video from 2008 when you couldn’t upload more than ten minutes at a time. It takes its title from the song Morgan debuted in Australia at the Rod Laver Stadium in Sydney at CMC Rocks, in front of 22,000 people.
Aussie women bellow along to Young Again, Kiss Somebody, Day Drunk and (ironically) Love Is Real. C2Cgoers in 2023 will be impressed at how Morgan gets the stadium to chant along to the chorus of this last song, something he did at his London show in 2022, weeks before his divorce from a Nashville singer was announced to the public.
An uncle to five, Morgan’s divorce has been well documented, and the tittle-tattle will get clicks for the worst sorts of websites for months to come. This film is Morgan’s story – his ex isn’t even mentioned by name – and it is as tightly controlled as whatever Prince Harry has been doing since his family stopped supporting him. Conversely, we see Morgan’s proud dad kvell with joy at his son’s success but also how ‘he needed to come home’ to a place where ‘everyone loves him’. It really does seem to have reset his career, as his dad suggests.
A relaxed homecoming gig at the Stag and Hunter in Newcastle is a high point of the film. ‘You have to work for it here, you don’t get anything for nothing,’ Morgan says. ‘All my best mates in town had bands,’ he adds. One of them, Mark, wrote songs with Morgan and talks on camera about how Morgan’s positivity helped Mark get through a hospital spell from cystic fibrosis. They wrote the uplifting acoustic jam Big Skies, which amusingly was released back in 2007, the time when you could only upload a 10-minute Youtube video.
Morgan talks about ‘the amount of in-depth messages on social media’ which followed the viral moment when the live version of Over For You went around the world. The song was not even out in its studio form yet, so Morgan decided to tweak it to sound more like that live clip. Like his former partner, Morgan is a musician and is in visible awe at being in Neil Finn’s studio. He’s filmed playing the piano chords and glancing at the camera as he lays down the vocals.
The throwaway line ‘Let’s go play a show and smile!’ might well be a songtitle on his next album. It’ll certainly make for a good t-shirt. There’s a bit at the end of the fourth part of the documentary where Morgan bursts into laughter after looking into the camera lens, guffawing at his own punchline, none of which I’ll spoil.
Inevitably, Morgan gets back to nature for the final part, surrounded by chirruping crickets and the waves lapping on a Queensland beach (at ‘an undisclosed location’). He sits on the bed of his truck with his shades on, sampling the Australian springtime, grabbing his surfboard and finding peace with himself.
I am sure the film will resonate with people whose relationship has terminally broke down. I also bet Michael Ray wishes he’d done something like this when his marriage to Carly Pearce ended. Morgan has put a full stop, publicly, on this stage of his life. What next?
Over For You is available on Youtube here