Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Spring Update 2nd April 2014

 So a little bit of an update from me. 

Radio: I recently was a guest on the BBC radio Devon Introducing programme as a pundit on the round table of the new releases from local bands. There was a very good selection of material whoever said that Devon has no great music is so far off the mark. I feel that at the moment the standard of bands and artists has never been higher.  

Last week I was live from the Royal Albert Hall at the Cures first of a 2 night residency there. The show was stunning the best Cure gig I have ever been to and the atmosphere was one of the best of any gig I have ever attended. 

This Friday I will be live from the Danny Thompson 75th Birthday gig in London with special guest Richard Thompson that should be amazing.
Phonic FM in Exeter are doing a show dedicated to yours truly on Tuesday 29th April at 8pm on 106.8  FM in Exeter and on the web at I will be talking about all the music I have done and more importantly the music that I like to listen to. Hopefully with a few surprises on the way. 

Secrets for September: we played our first gig of the year the other day at the Tobacco House in Exeter and we have a few shows lined up for the summer. The new EP ‘Letting Go and Live’ has been getting some great reviews if you have not heard it yet then pop along to .

Department Factory: I performed with Michael Soundy another Department Factory show and like last year we released it the following day. One review has said  'Matthew North is a talented musician who is able to combine elements of disparate genres in a seamless and coherent fashion.'

See more and to listen and download or get the cd.

Other music: I have been asked to play guitar on a very special project more to come on that but it’s a new field for me. I have also contributed guitar to a new song by the band ‘The Legendary Ten Seconds’ and I’m also playing guitar on the new Scott Morrison EP added to that I’m also going to be releasing my first solo single called ‘Something Memorable’ it’s a song I did when I was the guitarist of Falling Trees for a bit and they were happy for me to have a crack at doing my own interpretation of it and thankfully they like it. 

I have a few gigs coming up see for details. I have also updated the web page with just about every gig I have ever played so you can see a bit more of my musical history. 

More news soon

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The South West Music Awards 2013

So that was the South West Music Awards 2013. 

It took place at 'Charlie's Live Lounge' a new club thats by the Pizza hut in Cowick street. As you go in you get the feeling that normally its a venue that plays dance music to boys and girls in track suits and Burberry Caps. 

A truly horrid venue where they charge £10.70 for 1 glass of wine and one bottle of Kopperberg. while trying to order a lemonade and blackcurrent the barman had no idea what blackcurrant was in any way shape or form. The PA was appalling, you could not hear a single word for the first few hours as the mic was distorting to buggery. The locals were getting restless as they had nowhere to sit, many who had travelled a fair way to get there. 

Far less movers and shakers there than usual but good to chat to a few of the great and the good such as Jackson Cooper, Adam Isaacs, Chris Mockridge, Marie Belsten, Lee and Lisa Fletcher, Andy Botterill, Andrew Padfield and Sarah Woodward as well as the Sirens girls, Mozura,  the Reigning Days chaps and a few others that my brain cant quite remember the day after! And the Exeter local records guy had a stand there the ONLY local music exhibit there, and I think I was the only person from a band there doing any kind of form of active promotion by touting round promos of the new Secrets For September CD. 

Myself with the 2 Andys

It was a shame it was a Friday, as that’s a giging day for most musicians, and TSWMA is not an event that is big enough yet to warrant cancelling a gig to attend. 

Rev Hammer did a great job of comparing this year, being local he gets it and while John Robb is a pro being a Manc he thinks there is nothing in the world of music past the M62. Though Mr Robbs sarcasm was missed. People got awards, how it was voted and judged is very questionable but if you play in Exeter a lot, or have something to do with Phonic then you have a good chance of winning something. 

I was asked to present best folk award, and I had a speech all prepared but because the PA was so poor I didn't really say much at all. 

The event was on two floors as it was in a club rather than a venue (and last years venue was spot on), downstairs were several bands playing where they had a really decent sounding PA and felt like a much better place to hang out than the main event. 

The awards came through, some of my friends like Billy Bottle, Lee Fletcher and John Govier all won a gong. After the interval where Carnivala did a great set,

Above Carnivala

I was called upon to back Irish singer Olive de Ville for a 10 minute 4 song set. This was the first time that myself and Dave had played together outside the Secrets For September environment. Thankfully by that time the PA was starting to sound a little better though there was no actual sound operator present for the whole set. But we managed to get through it all ok and had there been a better PA there in a decent room (ie like last year) then it would have been quite good. 

Myself, Dave Holwill and Olive De Ville

The rest of the evening was more awards, half the attendees by this time had gone home, and not long after I did the same. 

There was no real dramas like the first one with short angry man from Wang Chung, but this time it did feel that the event was really a parody of itself. They got it pretty much spot on last year. If there is one next year a few lessons need to be learned. The award selection needs more transparency, a better venue needs to be sourced, the event needs to be on a non gig day and some proper media involvement.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Back in the saddle..

On Saturday night I played my first solo set for a very long time. 

It was a short set just 4 songs, but was the first time in the 20 years that I have been playing there that I have played at the Cavern as a solo artist. 

The set was

Broken Child (All Living Fear song 2012)
Blue Sky (All Living Fear song 1996)
To Behold (Secrets For September song 2010)
Tomorrow (All Living Fear song 1993)

The last song Tomorrow I first performed with All Living Fear at the Cavern almost to the day 20 years ago as I had just written it while at work in one of the local music shops. As a result of this show I have been asked to play at a few more gigs, and its inspired me that in 2014 I might just finally make a solo recording. watch this space. 

The guitar I used was my little Epiphone travel guitar its got a great sound and hardly takes up any room at all.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Late Show 27th September 2013

Last week was 3 from The Wall (Another Brick 1, Hey You and Run Like Hell) 

This week was about People coming to the area and redressing the Balance

1) Jethro Tull - Bouree (from This Was as Martin Barre playing Tavistock)

2) The Cult - Love Removal Machine (steve Brown version) as the Cult are playing Exeter Uni Soon

3) Focus - Anonymous 1 (they are playing Tavistock, Falmouth and Bristol)

and finally 

4) David Gilmour - No Way (Redressing the Roger Waters Pink Floyd Balance!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

National Pastime - Run With Me Now - Produced and remixed by Me.

Here is something new. I was asked to play on the new recordings by Exeters ‘National Pastime’ well I didn’t really have the time but I did offer to do a remix.

The song on offer was one they had played live as Falling Trees called ‘Run with me now’ when played live it had a bit of a Cure sound to it.

When I got the recording to work with I was rather shocked it was 140 bpm and sounded nothing like the song that was played live.

Anyhow the first thing I did was to try and make it sound like the song I had heard before. So I halved the tempo and all I used was the vocals. I wrote new music and then went about editing the vocals where I sliced them up to fit in the sections that I felt best. On the choruses I took the first one and the second one and doubled them up and added lots of delay and reverb to give it a big sound. This in on the released as Remix 2.

Then I went back to the song and decided to produce a version more to the original. So I extended the drums by about a minute as there was no breaks or fills anywhere I wanted to put some in. Then I placed the vocals back in and re recorded all of the rest of the instrumentation. As well as adding keyboards and acoustic guitar. Think this one finished off the best. 

There is a review of the EP here. 

And another review here 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Late Show - 2nd August 2013

As I had just supported Mostly ASutumn thought Id pick one of theres, plus new songs from the Morrisons and the US/Canadian band the Never Evers. 

Mostly Autumn - Drops of the Sun
The Morrisons - Captured in a Jar
The Morrisons - 1000 Miles Away
The Never Evers - Cheap Thrills (Debut UK radio appearance)

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Late Show BBC radio 5th April 2013

Doing this before it happens but Im talking about 2 new LPs, David Bowie 'The Next Day' and Eric Claptons 'Old Sock' both wonderful items of vinyl. 

From Clatopn his renditions of 'Goodnight Irene' (Leadbelly) and 'Still Got The Blues' (Gary Moore). 

Then from Bowie 'The Next Day' and 'Ill Take You There' 

All corkers tonight.

BBC Radio Late Show 29th March 2013

Some random tunes and chat this week. 

First off a Song called 'Queen and Country' by Jethro Tull from the album 'War Child' I had actually not heard this LP until the day and though this was a bit good. 

Then a song from the Second David Crosby and Graham Nash LP 'Wind on the Water' with the song 'Love Work Out'. 

Then I thought to finish a bit of Genesis from the prog to pop transition LP 'And then there were three' with 'Ballad of Big' great tune that. 

With lots of banter in between!