Scott Matthews in Wolverhampton

Scott Matthews debut album made a big impression on me when it was first released, being on heavy rotation during a French holiday. I missed a couple of chances to see him and regretted not making more of an effort.

The advent of his second CD, Elsewhere, saw Scott hit the road again, this time with a couple of ‘intimate’ show in his hometown of Wolverhampton. So I snapped up a couple of tickets and went along with the ‘international decorator supremo’

Intimate it certainly was, Newhampton Arts Centre squeezed in perhaps 80/100 people onto comfy(ish) chairs around table-clothed tables with tea lights (when did they stop being nightlights?). We nabbed a table right up front, feet from the modest stage, with a couple from Cannock Chase – there seemed an unhealthy obsession with Jelly Belly jellybeans, I am not quite sure why…

James Summerfield provided support for the night – a sweet voiced, folky singer-songwriter and served up a very pleasing set, slightly shyly delivered with a little light-hearted banter. I do so enjoy someone performing on their own, no gizmos or gimmicks, just a sense of their real talent. Of course CD’s were purchased from James at the make-shift merch stand in the hall, duly signed in case of future mega-stardom

Back at our seats for the main event (oh and two bottles of Speckled Hen at £4 the pair… not the nutso prizes of your regular gig bar). Scott shambled through the crowd and onto the stage – like a crazily talented cousin playing for the family in the front room. Clearly pleased to be back playing his home town, Mum and dad in the audience and no doubt sundry other friends and family

The set was punctuated with jokey comments ( not least about it being a ‘fu**ing good start’ to discover his guitar was wrongly tuned for the opener), unhurried re-tuning and more domestic vibes with everyone at their tables all being chatty and sociable with one another, a strange but welcome and comfortable ambience

Live and alone Scott plays beautiful, delicate and emotional guitar with his extra-ordinary voice (seemingly at odds somehow with the body from which it emanates) showing what a substantial talent he is. If anything I prefer the stripped back versions of his newer songs, with their greater immediacy and emotional punch

Of course there were welcome selections from the first CD, including the stunning ‘Elusive’, which not unnaturally got some of the greatest reactions of the evening. Surprisingly some of the more obvious tracks from the new CD didn’t get an airing, perhaps not being as appropriate for this solo, acoustic approach

Well, trekking up the M5, with all the related joys, on a Friday evening was well worth the effort. An unusual, personal gig of beautiful music performed with skills and integrity. Give me a gig like this anytime over dozens of over-blown stadium shows – this is what live music should be like

James Summerfield MySpace

James Summerfield Website

Scott Matthews MySpace

Scott Matthews Website

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One Response to Scott Matthews in Wolverhampton

  1. What more could I possibly add??? I found the whole experience to be outstanding – the venue; although, small and a little "school hallish" was spot on. James S was completely stunning; his performace actually gave me goose bumps, his banter was dry and witty (not least his concerns about is aging harmonica brace exploding in his face). Scott M was incredible… unassuming and completely talanted – Elusive blew me away! Having now had opportunity to listen fully to both artists albums, I agree with you that the stripped back live versions outweigh the more "produced" studio tracks.Definitely an evening to remember, thank you RHC!!!"IDS"

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