The Matchbox Heroes, Matt Watson, The Sepiatones, Tyger, at The Bicycle Shop for Tilting Sky 2 June 2013, review.
Before even a note had been played I was very impressed by the thoroughness and organisation for this gig, as well as all the hard work which obviously went into promoting it, which was well-rewarded by a sell-out Bicycle Shop sunday crowd. Presented by Craig Hill’s Tilting Sky this gig was mainly about the EP launch for The Matchbox Heroes, a duo who have recently come to my attention. The £5 entrance fee included a copy of the five track EP (see end of page for brief review) and no less than three supporting acts.
The first of these, in a packed and sweaty Bicycle Shop, was solo acoustic artist Tyger, who played about ten songs accompanied by his guitar, a couple of them being being particularly memorable and catchy, especially the final number about Norwich’s King Street, with some good lyrics.
I seem to have seen Matt Watson a great many times of late, and joked with him that I will probably know his songs almost as well as he does. Tonight’s set differed quite a lot from yesterday’s at UEA Greenpeace Fair. Here it was mainly his more reflective songs, which was nice to hear and suited this venue. Also the quieter ones, perhaps to embarrass some loud talkers into silence. He did not play And We Dance on this occasion, and I can see why, as there was a trio of people who seemed oblivious to the fact it was a music night and talked constantly and a little too audibly, to glowering glares from many of the people wishing to hear the acts rather than the audience, but undeterred Matt played on in a fine set.
Following Matt was the incredibly hard working Sepiatones. Being stood as I was in the audience next to Trish, I had asked if she had recovered from the illness which prevented her performing at the Greenpeace Fair the previous day. She explained she felt only a little better but was very concerned about her voice holding out for the duration of the set. She needn’t have worried though, as it held out well in a six song set, alongside the lively and ever-smiling James Maas on acoustic and electric guitars. These talented musicians are amongst the hardest working in the city, they are extremely amiable and friendly, nice people to boot 🙂 Great name too.
Tonight’s headliners, The Matchbox Heroes, usually perform as a duo, Chris and Andy, and both have plenty of experience playing in local bands and formed this band last year. Unfortunately Andy was unable to be present tonight but that made for an interesting set, as Chris was backed on drums by Matt Watson, and for a couple of songs by The Sepiatones. Special mention must be made to Matt who only had an hour or so earlier in the day to familiarise himself with the songs but did a sterling job. I was most impressed by Chris too, who has a very self-assured stage manner but also a self-deprecating humour which is a nice combination but most importantly an excellent and strong voice. All the songs sounded full and interesting, and catchy too.
I cannot praise Chris highly enough for the professionalism and serious hard work that went into this gig, from inviting people, promoting, the thought and care that went into it, from printing tickets to manning the door Chris was clearly very busy preparing for this and I am glad he was rewarded with a full house.
After the gig I spent a very enjoyable hour or so chatting with Craig, who mentioned that the advice he would give to new artists is: Be good at what you do, work your butt off, don’t be a dick. I am pleased to say that all these artists seem to naturally fulfill this.
Words and photos by richard shashamane 2013
The Matchbox Heroes’ EP Nice to Know You, opens confidentally with the power pop of Here and Now, fast and attention-grabbing, it is followed by the slower Love Will Win, with some very good vocals over an electric guitar and some pounding drums. The third track is All I See, slower still in pace, opening with some beautiful acoustic guitar and gentle vocals floating over, this is the song that had the most immediate impact on me, the guitar riff is delicious and the song quite lovely. The pace picks up again for Hold On before slowing down again for the opening of Paper Hearts, one which I remember well from the live set with its electric guitar and memorable line of “So if you want me come and find me. My paper heart needs to unfold. It was nice to know you while it lasted”
A very decent EP with good production, fine songs, and lovely artwork.
‘NICE TO KNOW YOU’ is out NOW!!
Available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Xbox Music and Deezer