Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Live in 2015: Iain Matthews & Egbert Derix at Barry West End Club on Thursday 13th August 2015

The Barry West End Club continue to bring quality artists down to the South Wales seaside town and tonight we have the pleasure of sitting down and watching two excellent performers.

I've always loved a Rock n Roll survivor of the Music Industry. Someone who's been around since the 60s, still producing music and has lived to tell the tale.

 One such artist is Iain Matthews. First coming to prominence as a co-founder of British folk institution Fairport Convention in 1967 - Iain has been plying his trade since the mid 1960s and has continued to make music right up to the present day.

But first up we had local trio Seafall who played a mix of Folk and Singer/Songwriter material and had a really good response from a packed Club.

Iain is one of those artists who has consistently been producing albums - first as part of Fairport Convention and then with his own bands including Matthews Southern Comfort and Plainsong. 

Matthews Southern Comfort took one of Joni Mitchell's best songs and had a global hit with it - Woodstock.

Here is Even The Guiding Light by Plainsong - taken from the album In Search Of Amelia Earhart

And a song from his 1972 solo album Journeys From Gospel Oak - Gene Clark's Polly

Iain even had a brief flirtation with the USA charts in 1978 with his album Stealin Home - which is where I really became aware of his work.

So today, we find Iain still treading the boards and producing albums - in the last decade or so he has been working with Dutch jazz pianist Egbert Derix as well as releasing solo albums.

Iain's acoustic guitar and Egbert's electric piano are the perfect mix for this intimate evening and of course Iain still has that fabulous voice, which sounds as good as ever. The duo performed material from a range of albums but rightly concentrated on the last 3 albums they have produced together - Joy Mining (2008) , Afterwords (2010)  & In The Now (2012)

But there were some lovely surprises thrown into the mix.
One was a performance of the title track from Iain's 1971 solo album If You Saw Thro' My Eyes.

Over the two hour performance the quality of the songs and performance made the evening fly by. Iain told a few stories - how he has been living in Holland for the last decade - in the same town as Egbert.

Another fabulous surprise for the purists, of which there seemed quite a few in the audience, was a performance of the Fairport Convention song Sloth, from their 1970 album Full House - which did not feature Iain as he had left the band 3 albums prior to it's release. It's a nine minute tour-de-force which dominates the album and Iain & Egbert give a terrific performance of it tonight

As someone who has been around so long as a songwriter and performer, Iain has written many excellent songs - and on his latest release he has a song which sums up what he feels about being a musician. It's a fantastic song called Pebbles In The Road.

I suggest that you start with Iain & Egbert's most recent albums and then go back to the beginning of Iain's career if you want to investigate his music.

Iain & Egbert ended the evening with a superb version of the Tom Waits song, (Looking for) The Heart Of Saturday Night.

Go and see Iian & Egbert if you get the chance - they are a perfect blend and with a wealth of material on which to draw, you are guaranteed an evening of sublime music and musicianship.

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