Here’s a nice exclusive and Song of the Day, with a video for Scott Matthews’ 86 Floors From Heaven created by his good friend Adam Bulley. The intimate solo performance captures the comparatively rare sight of Matthews at the piano and was shot in the shed that is the creative epicentre of Scott’s music making. It’s a typically moving song from the excellent Home Part 1 album and in keeping with the solo take, comes as Scott announces a short series of dates as he takes to the road on his own.
I was lucky enough to see Scott with regular cellist Danny Keane do an intimate show at The Heavenly Social a while back that I reviewed here. Whilst he stuck to guitar that night, which when you can play like Scott can, is surely no surprise, this video offers a tantalising glimpse of a growing confidence at the keys.
More recently I also had the chance too see Scott put an excellent show at London’s Cadogan Hall, a decent sized venue and all but sold out, which he played with Danny, adding bassist Jon Thorne and drummer Sam Martin, who also doubled on guitar. It’s a long time since I’ve seen Scott play with a band and coincidentally, half of the set list came from Passing Stranger. Early on, we were treated to cracking version of Eyes Wider Than Before and also Dream Song. As Scott rotated the set between old and new he started with a sublime version of Virginia, with Mona sandwiching the two earlier cuts.
As the set developed there was the sense that Scott is still getting into to what the band can help him achieve, some of the arrangements were stretched out, but each of the musicians added considerably to the overall dynamics, with Danny also doubling on keys. It even gave Scott a chance to use the electric guitar with a greater intent than before, even getting the bottleneck out and soloing.
As someone who’s followed most of Scott career it’s really pleasing to say that the best songs on the night were from the last two albums, although Elusive, slotted into the middle of the set with Passing Stranger are clearly still crowd favourites. For me, however, The Outsider along with the beautiful Mona, and dipping into the previous album Bad Apple and especially Walking Home In The Rain, show how his gift for melody has grown as he has matured as a writer. If kept up with the releases then please note that What The Night Delivers should not be ignored, while Home Part 1 is better still and the best so far.
My understanding is that this expanded line up was done quite spur of the moment, so watch out for more band dates to be announced for May. In the meantime there are some more intimate performances to enjoy. In that vein and to bring us back full circle Scott’s encore at Cadogan Hall was a bold solo rendition of the hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely sad 86 Floors From Heaven, I doubt there was a dry eye in the house.
Scott Matthews Solo Dates
Weds 01 Apr – Truro, The Old Grammar School
Thur 02 Apr – Totnes, The Old Barrelhouse Ballroom
Tues 14 Apr – Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
Weds 15 Apr – Sheffield, The Greystones
For future dates keep an eye on Scott’s tour page.