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Getting the most out of playing a gig.

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I have been doing the music biz thing for a quarter of a century now, I don’t call it a career or say I’m in the Industry. I’m a performing musician. People ask me all the time for advice about how to do thing so I thought I would write a few blogs on the subject. 

Playing gigs is the main aim for most musicians, most want to play there very best to a receptive audience that hopefully will grow as time goes on. 

When you start out the rules of the game are pretty much the same as they are when your 25 years into the game like I am so here are a few pointers that hopefully will hold you in good stead for the future. 

These view are my own from over half of my life of experience. 

I will take it as read that you have a gig booked, it may be a fixed fee, a door split, a gig for ‘Exposure’ (I will talk about this in another post) or you may be playing as a favour to someone. Either way you are there to entertain an audience and you have to be professional about it. In essence it is a job of w…

Audio Recovery

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Tape recorders have been part of my life since I was a toddler. When I was 3 years old I had a phillips reel to reel that I used to record records on to and in my early teens I was doing sound on sound recordings with a pair of my dads Pioneer RT-707 machines.

Technology has moved on a lot in the last 30 years but nothing preserves the past more than tape . Over the years I have been hunting around Car boot sales, recycling centres and the internet looking for old tapes that might have something of interest. Mostly what I am looking out for is old TV and Radio programmes that were recorded at home. So much stuff was never recorded or kept by the broadcasters that domestic recordings were the only way things were preserved. Some of the most famous home recordings are things like John Peel sessions from the 1960s and 70s as well as off air recordings of Doctor Who and Hancocks half hour.
Myself I have located a number of missing audio recordings over the years. The Beatles on the Mike and…

Local music for local people ??

There was a meeting last night in Plymouth about the state of the music biz. I didn't go because I'd been to similar before. These sort of things usually end up as a bun fight or a love it, people being all chummy for a hour then back to every man for himself. I have never been part of the music 'scene' as such though I have lived here for 10 years. Most of my live work is all over the UK. but I though I'd share a few thoughts about why live music is in decline with some specific references to Plymouth.
1) All live music is in decline at the grass roots level. Has been even since the inception of the internet. Computer Games ate the new rock and roll for the youth. When I was a teenager everyone was dressed in their favourite band T-Shirt. Teenager these days are not like that, they are more likely to have a T Shirt for a film, TV Show or computer game than a band. 

2) Because of the internet the concept of paying for music is an alien concept, second to that the int…

Matthews end of year blog.

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Well 2015 has been a busy and productive year for me. 

I released 2 solo albums this year, one my third album of improvised music ‘Valentine 3’ that was recorded at the Phoenix in Exeter this was then followed up by a compilation album called ‘Singles and Sessions’ where I compiled all the digital only material to a full length CD album. In between these two albums I released 2 singles ‘When you cry’ and ‘I See You’ described by the BBC as ‘Love it, Love it, Love it’.


Most of my musical year has been taken up with performing with the Mike Westbrook band. The piece we have been performing ‘A Bigger Show’ started out last year, though it has many refinements and tweaks since then including one additional song. Later in the year we had the good fortune to record this album live with producer Jon Hiseman. Since then the live shows have been getting better and better and I do hope that we travel further afield in 2016. 

I did hope that to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the d├ębut All Li…

New Single out today 'When You Cry'

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Well its been a long journey but today I have a new single out called 'When You Cry'. Im not sure what will be next for me but I think for now I'm not going to record any more solo stuff. I have a busy year with the Mike Westbrook band as well as working on Secrets For September recordings. 

Anyhow take a listen here. 




Buy it from

Bandcamp : iTunes : Amazon UK : Amazon.com HMV Digital

My musical year 2014

2014 was a very strange year. It was the first year in music where I went into the year without any kind of ‘Band’ on the go. I decided to have a go and see if I could do a solo gig a week to try and up my game at the singer / songwriter thing though I did kick off the year playing a one off show as guitarist to National Pastime this was my only show of 2014 that I played electric guitar.
In February I did the second Department Factory ‘Valentine’ show this time I was accompanied by Michael Soundy on Djembe this turned out to be the last time that I played live with Mike as he decided to leave Secrets For September. I felt that the performance was much better this year and the CD came out very well even if it wasn't a massive seller.
I had been offered a solo gig in the south east for later in the year so I decided as the solo gigs were going not too badly to do a small tour, and to go with this I also recorded some solo material. Initially was going to be just a couple singles or…

Queen and Adam Lambert one for the moaners

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So the question is how many bands that have been around almost 50 years still have the same line up and have never broken up ? Answer not many the closest is probably U2. 

Most major bands have had so many line up changes over the years there may be only 1 or 2 original members left. Robert Smith is the only original member of the Cure, Dave Brock for Hawkwind, Nick Rhodes for Duran Duran & Chris Squire for Yes. Drummers Fair well in that the only long serving original members of Pink Floyd, the Yardbirds & The Animals are the Drummer. Nobody batters an eyelid in that Lynyrd Skynyrd have hardly any original members because of the fateful air crash. Or lack of original members of Big Country  or Thin Lizzy. So why last night was social media full of venom for what Queen are doing these days?

Freddie died in 1991 and the band carried on finishing off music and while John Deacon retired Brian and Roger carried on with various musical projects my answer is this Why the bloody hell s…