Bob Henderson

Scott Matthew @ Bush Hall, London

Scott Matthew is the bearded songwriter responsible for almost half the heart breaking songs that make up the soundtrack for Shortbus.

His debut UK show, held at the beautiful seated venue of Bush Hall, was opened by `Theoretical Girl, a chanteuse du jour who was stripped of her backing band and whose crisp vocals floated over some wonky guitar playing. At times she sounds like Sarah Cracknell and is not one to get caught up in over complicated lyrical sentiments. Her new single The Hypocrite, instead of being a stompy electro number is all vulnerable indie angst.

Scott however takes this onstage huggable persona to a whole other level. Starting out like an akward school boy, parting his fringe and mumbling thank yous, by the end he had completely unfurled and had the crowd entranced. Was it the whiskey? Was it the bottle of red wine he consumed on stage? It’s likely down to that rare indefinable talent of having stage presence.

All his body language points to the contrary, but people are ensconced. He starts inflecting and wrist curling, looking like an overgrown bearded toddler. His new song Put Me To Pasture, (“yeah, he really hurt me”) contained all the gut wrenching sadness that led us to the unanimous post gig decision that we wanted Scott Matthew to play at all our funerals. When we die we want people to cry, damn it, and buckets. His triumphant encore included a piano ballad version of Love will tear us apart and led to a standing ovation, something I have never seen happen at a London gig. Anyone who was there and up off their seats will know it probably won't be the last time it’ll happen.

Scott Matthew features in the March Issue of GT, Out Now

Words: Bob Henderson

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