Another Malvern Musical Legend set to return to perform at Elmslie this Autumn is Matt Woosey – here with his Band on Sunday 25th November.
“Right now, Matt stands at his most fascinating creative crossroads to date. It’s two years since the release of Desiderata: the groundbreaking eighth album inspired by Max Ehrmann’s 1927 prose-poem, with music that pinballed between piano, pedal-steel, upright bass and electronica. Capturing the most daring music of Matt’s career, it was toasted by Classic Rock as “one of the year’s most ambitious and electrifying releases”, and the ripples spread far beyond his early fanbase. “The reaction was great,” he nods. “Desiderata picked up people who aren’t necessarily blues fans, because it was a much broader album than anything I’d done before.”
But even as the rock press clamoured for Matt’s attention, he refused to play the game. Instead, following Desiderata’s impact, the songwriter relocated to the remote 1000-inhabitant town of Münchweier, in Germany’s Black Forest. Fatherhood brought a new focus, but music still soundtracked this new life, whether Matt was playing his intimate ‘sofa concerts’ (“They’re like private gigs in people’s living rooms”) or running the local Gallagher’s Nest culture centre with his wife. “We put on everything,” he explains, “from amateur dramatics to guitar lessons. We have musicians coming here from all over the world.”
In a fragmented industry, Gallagher’s Nest became a buzzing musical hub. But perhaps the most important connection of all was made back in 2016, when Matt was soundchecking in Bern. “I was just playing The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin, before the venue was even open. And this guy walked in off the street to see what was going on. We got talking, and he invited me to a jam night. This guy – Ralph Küker – got up onstage with another guitar player, Michael Oertel, and their bass player, Lukas Steinmeier. And I was like, ‘Right, I’ve got to nick these three people’. I’ve been doing this 15 years, I’ve seen a lot of music, and I’m quite hard to impress. But I saw something really special in them.”
Along with long-standing drummer Dave Small, it’s this outfit that will flank Matt as he writes his next chapter: a live album recorded at Gallagher’s Nest in late-summer. “We really want to show people the sound of this band,” says Matt. “I’ve not recorded anything with them and there’s not really any videos of us online. By rights, they shouldn’t even playing with me, because I can’t afford to pay them what they’re worth. But they’re just such fantastic musicians, and we all share a vision. When this group plays my music, I just get lost in it. There’ll be at least a few songs on the live album that people haven’t heard before. They’re very much about my life. They don’t try to hide anything.”
Scheduled for release in 2019, the live album promises to capture the thrill of this world-class lineup performing at full-throttle. Until then, there’s the anticipated UK tour in November, hitting a selection of prestigious venues that reflect Matt’s growing stature. “The UK is where I cut my teeth,” he notes. “It’s where I grew up as a person and a musician, and to go back there is really enjoyable. But it’s very different with this new band. When we play together, we travel to a lot of different places inthe set, from moments of tension to something more light-hearted. It’s moody, ambient at times, branches out into atmospheric folk, and rock, and all sorts of styles. There’s something about my shows that you just can’t put your finger on.”
The same might be said for the twist-and-turn career of Matt Woosey. In a world where mainstream musicians make all the obvious moves, here is one artist who travels without a map. “I have a real fear of repeating myself,” he says. “My music has to be creative and artistic. It has to keep pushing things forward. I just want people to come with me on my journey, whatever changes I take.”
Tickets are £12.00 each, and are available only through eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/matt-woosey-band-sunday-25th-november-800pm-tickets-49668378457?aff=eac2
If you are local to Malvern tickets are also for sale through Malvern TIC (Tourist Information Centre) or Carnival Records, both on Church Street in Malvern.
NB – I have had to remove the Pay-pal button for buying tickets direct from us as the coding seems to have developed a gremlin and several people have rung to say that they have been unable to purchase them – so for this reason please click on the link to the Eventbrite page above or visit TIC/Carnival records in person. Apologies for any inconvenience!
The seating (maximum capacity is 80) is unreserved so the doors will open half an hour before the performance starts so that you can select your seats and if you so wish, have a drink at the Bar (Limited bar available – championing local beers, cider and soft refreshments).
Doors will be opening at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.
There is usually an interval after 45mins so that the performance will finish around 10.00pm.