the venue (Verdict Jazz Club) in a quiet moment
So I’ve been going to Safe House here in Brighton for a while, and it’s helped keep me honest and open-minded musically (flexible, too). It’s a, well, it’s… right, this is off their site:
…collective that hosts two separate nights that focus on improvised and experimental music: Safehouse, on the first Wednesday of every month, and On The Edge, on the last.
[…] There may or may not be any rhythm, tonal centre or structure to the pieces played. The music is free in that sense. No premeditated ideas or constrictions. Any sound is valid. It is a sonic conversation, in which players respond to each other as spontaneously as possible.
It can be brilliant, terrifying and beautiful or absolute shit, depending on the quiddities of the moment. Some of the players are very advanced indeed, but I’ve managed to reach a point where I can hold my own onstage well enough as part of a free improv scratch ensemble – or at least not embarrass myself too often. One aspect of the gig nights is the Wildcard Quartet: four names are selected at random to go on as first support and improvise for about twenty minutes, no quarter asked or given. (They’re very clear about this… it’s not “jamming”, it’s improvisation. Start spamming out riffs by rote and they take you out back and shoot you. Horribly distorted electric guitars are permitted, however.)
Anyway, my name came up for the gig on 31 Jan. It’s exciting stuff, and will be entirely unique, which is kind of the point.
Graham Dunning, Colin Webster, Sam Underwood
In this trio Graham Dunning plays turntable, dubplates and dentristry tools, walkmans and amplified objects. Colin Webster plays saxophone and Sam Underwood the tuba.
In 2014 Graham and Colin released two albums of recordings on the Linear Obsessional and Raw Tonk labels. They also toured the UK and Switzerland – the video below is from their set in Zurich.
The trio performed a memorable set at Supernormal festival in 2015 and released a CD called Bleed on ADAADAT label – a track from which is below.
Fettucini Spicer attempt to provoke/shock each other into action by the application of a multitude of instruments and objects too numerous to mention!
…I have no idea what to expect, and trust me – neither do you.
My new EP comes out today (25th Oct), and I’m doing a gig on Sun 29th for Brighton Noise to mark the launch. It’s beyond cool to be asked to play by them – plus ChrySalliss Presents – on a bill with Cali Santo and local legends The Long Goodbye.
Following that, there are more gigs across the UK: check back for updates.
Out on tour for the first time in years, by fits and starts till December.
“If Matt’s got a keynote as a songwriter, it’s his knack for seamlessly juxtaposing the macabre with the ordinary […] These days he’s a little wiser and friendlier, but just as stubborn; and still worth spending time with.”
by Pete Wiseman
Not been idle, as the ultra-swift sketch above shows – that’s me playing guitar at an open mic, you can tell by the eyebrows.
Been testing out a lot of new songs lately, getting a heavy slab of stage-time over the last few months – some of it transcendent, some of it pure fucking grim. But even the misfires excite me.
Okay, enough brand-management. What news? Put together an electric band end of last year, just a three-piece but very powerful and much more simpatico – in both senses – than my previous attempt, which was fine but hardly built to last. Our first gig will be here in Brighton sometime around 30th March, details still tbc. Before then I’ll be back at the Coach House with Sam Cutting on Thur 16th Feb – more info soon.
May this glorious new year bring you a few moments’ respite from the crushing fear and horror
A remastered version of the Self Possession EP is on Youtube. It features some truly diseased noises, now louder and in sharper definition. If you want a download, it can also be found on Bandcamp.
Some new details on Thur 20 Oct gig at the New Cross Inn, London – event page here:
The Asif Outlaws
Hard rocking foursome from London
“Pushing the idea of one-man and his guitar to its limits. With a noticeable Lou Reed influence, his songs move between gentle laments to attacks on his guitar that teeter on a knife-edge. Matt pulls all this of with a suave cool and a voice that echos Jeff Buckley and Nick Cave.” – CMU
£3 Entry / 7pm Doors
Had another short piece of writing featured in Agony Magazine – here’s a link for to read of it.