Great Matt Deighton Gig at The 12 Bar Club (Slight Return)


You might think this is turning into a crusade, and I agree, it’s looking that way isn’t it, but it’s a worthy and noble cause and I’m going to pursue it valiantly to the very end.

Matt Deighton is this country’s leading singer-songwriter of melodic folk/folk-pop and the reason I keep writing about him is that the populace doesn’t seem to know it. I’m trying to do you a favour, don’t you hear? This guy is an absolute genius.

Actually, some of you do know it, don’t you, fellow believers, we must stand together and support Matt at every opportunity. I have been very pleasantly surprised at the number of emails and comments we’ve received as a result of previous Matt pieces on Pop Junkie like this one and this one.

Today, a little tardily, I’m going to review Monday night’s gig at London’s wonderful but tiny 12 Bar Club, bang in the heart of ol’ Tin Pan Alley, Denmark Street. On the face of it, there wouldn’t appear to be a lot to add to the review of his May performance at the same venue; same stage, same Epiphone acoustic, with the support of Dave’s tender brushwork (you couldn’t call it drumming) on a few numbers, (and I’m not being snide ~ what he does accompanies the songs perfectly), quite possibly the same audience (more or less), a mix of diehards and friends/partners of diehards.

However, though I didn’t take extensive notes, the set was significantly different to the earlier show. I’m guessing that he was on stage for close to an hour and played a set that was a nice balance of songs from Villager, Wake the Moths, newies, and, most welcomly, tracks from his second solo album You Are the Healer, which he didn’t touch back in May.

I shall refrain from adjectives. You could prefix every song with descriptions such as dreamy, bucolic, beautiful, tender. His songs are without exception mellow, exquisite and sublime. That’s a given from this guy.

Highlights were Pure English Honey, from Villager (despite having to have two goes at it!), two great new songs High Times and Stringless Heart (“I wrote this last night”), a great cover of Beverley Martyn’s Auntie Aviator (not that I’d previously heard the original) segued with You Are the Healer and In Our Eyes from his download only album Part of Your Life dedicated to newlyweds in the audience Doug and Jo. See, he’s a nice guy.

If there’s anyone reading this who runs a label, please do us a favour and put this out on CD or vinyl, I can’t be doing with downloads. That’s not having a record out.

He was on good form, great form. A little less nervous maybe, not that he was a gibbering wreck last time, but it’s a stark and daunting environment for a performer. Witness the film I took of his encore, Bill Fay’s Release is in the Eye. I wasn’t in the photographer’s pit. That was taken from my seat. Yeah, right under his feet, with a centipede’s eye view of the performer.

I briefly met some nice folk after. Fellow believers. As those moddy types are fond of saying; we must Keep the Faith.


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