The recent run of gigs went really well – as I may already have said, it’s so good to be doing this again and getting such an energized reception. The dream never rusted! There’s a few more to come over the next couple of months… situation permitting… in London (for Trust The Doc at the Amersham Arms), Worthing (Bar 42) & Brighton in November (Rossi Bar, electric line-up this time). Otherwise, am working on new material but that won’t see daylight for a while yet; working on life too, which… likewise, probably… x
Bar 42, Worthing, 15 Aug
We did our first gig in about 18 months a couple of days ago.
It was hot, sweaty and loud – I’d almost forgotten how that feels. It went great, and I’m hyper-aware what a pleasure and privilege it is, after the shitty time we’ve all endured, to do this again. Personally, I dealt with the suspense by focusing on my recent album and working on a follow-up; but there was a point where many venues’ survival looked pretty shaky – as did the whole musical ecosystem where I occupy a marginal corner. And while the covid ordeal’s not over just yet, at least that part of it is. I’m very, very glad.
More to follow – something early September for Sad House Daddy in London first of all, then a couple of things closer to home. Details shortly! x
photo by Lewis McKale
Two more upcoming local gigs:
What can I say – I’m a greedy bitch. To soak up the folly, the gigs will be poles apart in sound, feel and setlist (very different venues too). For the first, there’ll be electricity, bass and drums; the second, I’ll be alone up there… After that, it’s oblivion for a little while.
Meanwhile, a track from the new EP’s featured on Monolith Cocktail’s Quarterly Playlist Revue, alongside Dr Octagon, Grimm Grimm and Crayola Lectern, to name a few – it’s an immersive, intelligently-structured listening experience; switch that phone off and strap in for a journey by tracklist.
An oldie, Lilith, features on the third edition of Plugged In Brighton’s Mixcloud in a rockier setting; Young Francis, Big Slammu et al bring the scuzz.
The two programmes are very reflective of the two nights – one’s adrenaline noise, the other’s a head trip. Explore!
There’s a new EP due on 11 May in all its ugly glory… I got tired of introspective stuff and dialled up the noise/sarcasm/repetition. It’s also, for the most part, very… direct. Here’s advance word from xsnoize.com.
I’ve already recorded the follow-up, and that’s different again. Meanwhile, think of this one as an outburst of protest – although the final track may be one of the prettiest things I’ve ever done. A conundrum, for sure (but not too much of one… it’s getting playlisted a lot, which is very welcome).
Gigs are lining up – solo, as a guitar/drums duo, full electric band – and dates so far include:
Another improv gig, as described previously, in the Wildcard Quartet:
Mon 21 May, Short Steps presents @ Fortune of War (Brighton) – w/ Ja Sputnik, Noisferatu & Pete Wiseman
Mon 28 May, Mr Wolf’s (Bristol)
Fri 22 June, Real Music Club @ The Brunswick (Brighton) – w/ Andy Roberts & The Boy In The Cupboard
More tbc for June onwards. Ugliness, ugliness everywhere (and I love it)… x
EDIT: you can hear a track from the EP on Indie Arena Radio’s Mixcloud here
Quite a full year: a new live band plus lots of gigs, an EP release and tour. Here’s to another like it, but more so – it’s been great, and thanks everyone who’s listened. (Should point out, I do own more than one shirt… look closely and you’ll see they’re not all the same garment – just very, very similar. Maybe next year I’ll experiment with another colour or two. Maybe.)
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
this, but on the radio
I’ve got an hour of spoken word and live music coming out on Radio Reverb, hopefully on Sun 27 July at 11pm (then repeated three times the following week). A preview of the first two and a half minutes can be heard here. That’s 97.2FM kids.*
It was a buzz to put together – kind of nerve-wracking too… if I manage to hold yr attention, unsettle you a bit: good.
Otherwise, got some gigs coming – including a London leg of Waterghosts.
*& it’s now going out on Sun 24th August. Not sure what happened there, but it’s confirmed for broadcast on this date.
Waterghosts was a success; both on its own terms and going by audience reaction. Jamie Sturrock, awkward visionary, I salute you (many people can talk a good game about stuff like this, very few actually risk doing it).
It was exciting to read out my writing in the pulpit, and to work with so many talented musicians and performers; sitting in the engine room and feeling all that improvised sonic deviltry strafing the church was wonderful.
Now I’ve got some gigs, first one Sunday 1 June.
a few Waterghosts pics – more on my Facebook page:
2012 was bipolar – but I’d do it all again
Well, that was a… colourful year. And who could ask for more? Rather that than the alternative, which is a dreary thought. Death!
So what happened? (I’m still asking myself that, so this summary is as much for my benefit as anything else.)
1) Released 2nd album. Got more, and better, reviews than #1 – which was kind of the idea.
2) Did a brief and eventful tour after release – pretty much broke even: another first. Played a fair few other gigs, mostly solo, some with…
3) A band, which orbited around the songs for roughly 8-9 months and then exploded. With hindsight, it was never going to last, but during that time we played…
4) Live on BBC Introducing: The South (and the single got a little air-time too). This was exciting.
…Besides these bare bullet-points, I’ve just kept on doing it, “it” being more songs. Met some potential collaborators in the last couple of months, had a few tantalising overtures; again, I’m not going into detail yet for fear of The Jinx; in this game, so many promising set-ups tend to evaporate without warning.
But it’s promising just the same. And it’s been a blast – on a gross venal level, the trickle of royalties makes filling in an income tax Self Assessment form such a thrill.
Joking aside, I’m still fuelling off the highs and regret none of the lows – hope you (whoever you are) likewise. Happy New Year.
GLOW IN THE DARK – album #2 – is now available from Bandcamp, Amazon, Spotify & the rest. My advice is get it from Bandcamp, where it comes with extras.
It’s been reviewed by Whiteboard Project, here. (Scroll down, it’s the second or third item.) It “will infuriate some and delight others […] Highly recommended”. Amen to that.
On top of this, I’m part of a brief tour from 15th – 19th August.