Thursday, 30 January 2014

Matt Henshaw review with Mahalia at The Cookie

MAHALIA AT THE COOKIE
28/01/2014, Posted in Gigs, Music Comments: No comments
Grace and the magic roots
Saturday 25th January

Leicester singer Mahalia

By Mark Granger

Mahalia Presents, for those who were wondering, is the brainchild of Leicester singer songwriter Mahalia.

Mahalia
Mahalia

A canny way of providing regular gigs for herself while introducing artists from around the country to the Leicester scene.
The first Mahalia Presents of 2014 is a triple bill of singer songwriter goodness that kicks off with Ilkeston born Leicester adoptee Matt Henshaw who begins his set with ‘Your Eyes Are Made Of Gold‘, it’s gentle acoustic picking and Matt’s powerful soul vocals drawing the crowd in from the off.

From that point the majority of the crowd are transfixed on the man and his guitar, his songs being taken to another level by the pure passion he injects into every syllable. Matt dedicates ‘As A Matter Of Fact‘, a catchy pop inflected ditty, to his ‘missus’ who is in the crowd that night before ending on the emotional ‘It Ain’t Easy‘ safe in the knowledge that he’s leaving the stage having gained a few new fans.

Tonight’s curator Mahalia is next, accompanied by her dad James on guitar and percussionist Zizi on, well, percussion. Mahalia’s set is varied, veering between popier moments like ‘Boomerang Boy‘ and more soulful pieces such as ‘Let The World See The Light‘.

Like Matt before her, Mahalia gets the crowd on her side early on and commands a stage presence that belies her young age. As a result, the crowd is silent and attentive for the gentle acoustic pop of ‘Marry Me‘ but claps along enthusiastically during the as yet untitled ‘Clappy Song‘.

Then it’s Fiona Bevan‘s turn. Although performing regularly on the London gig scene for some years Fiona is a prolific songwriter who has been creating her own brand of folk, jazz and soul inflected pop from a young age. With a few independent releases under her belt, 2014 will see the release of her first studio album and we are treated to some cuts from it tonight including the jazzy ‘Rebel Without A Cause‘ and the beautiful alt-pop of first single ‘The Machine‘.

Fiona’s performance is captivating experience, with her eyes shut she gets lost somewhere in the music inviting the audience along for the ride. Her paean to insomnia that is ‘Us & The Darkness‘ and the heartbreaking ‘Dial D For Denial‘ close her brief but effective set, leaving the crowd wanting more. With any justice 2014 should be Fiona Bevan’s for the taking.

All three artists treated us to something special tonight making sure that Mahalia Presents has set the bar high for live music in 2014.

After the show Mark Granger talked to Mahalia

The Cookie is almost full tonight and 15 year old Leicester singer songwriter Mahalia takes to the stage for the first of 2014′s Mahalia Presents concerts with the assured stage presence of a seasoned performer.

The last two years have been something of a whirlwind for Mahalia, after the release of her 2012 E.P- ‘Headspace‘ - she says “things just sped up”; Which is somewhat of an understatement, last year saw her on the same bill as Rizzle Kicks and Labrinth at the Royal Albert Hall, add to that, support slots with Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé and Laura Mvula and Mahalia has notched the kind of experience that would make performers twice her age jealous.

So she must have been some kind of childhood prodigy then? Well, not exactly. ”When I was younger I was really into a lot of sports,” says Mahalia, ”I never got into picking up an instrument or writing songs until I was like, twelve” Which is not really one foot in the grave when it comes to starting music but it’s not as if she didn’t have the influence around her either.

“Both my parents are musicians (and) they were always gigging so I was constantly around someone on stage” and she also credits her school music teacher saying she “got me into writing, playing guitar and singing.”

Mahalia has been away from Leicester for a while, so she and her parents sat down and thought of something to do in their hometown and Mahalia Presents was born.

“This was the best way to bring in a crowd from where I’m from so that people I grew up around and friends and family could see what was going on and how I was developing. The whole ‘Mahalia Presents‘ thing is also a way to bring artists from outside (Leicester) and bring them here.”

The events are also a clever way of getting herself out there, a lot of artists in Mahalia’s position might be inclined to sit back and wait for something to come to them but as she says “I’m in the last part of my GCSEs so music-wise it’s down. Which is why the gigs are so important, so there’s always something going on.”

Gigs and exams aren’t the only thing on Mahalia’s mind however; she’s come to a point where she has that all important debut album to think about.

“I’m in the midst of working out what I want my album to be like, how I want it to sound, how I want it to represent me. This next year is working out what that’s going to be (and we’re) hoping for a release this time next year, or to (have something) ready.” As for the writing, “70% I do myself at home, or with my Mum and Dad or brother. I also do co-writes which is good for developing your own writing because you get other people input and that works for me.”

So with Mahalia Presents set to be a monthly occurrence in 2014 and plans for an album in full swing it looks like we’ll be hearing much more from Mahalia in the next few years.

Mahalia’s website

See also:

Music diary for January 2014

Reviews of obsUnplugged

God Damn at The Cookie Jar

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Friday, 24 January 2014

Choucino Studio Sessions; Matt Henshaw "It ain't easy" (+playlist)

Introducing Matt Henshaw Subba Culture Interview by Jeremy Chick ...

Published on December 6th, 2013
We speak to the up ‘n coming Singer-Songwriter about his past and what his future might entail…

matt

This soul-loving, tea-drinking gardener is a singer/songwriter of some repute from Ilkeston, between Nottingham and Derby, who is now living in Leicester and taking the local music scene there by storm. His penchant for acoustic sets and original songs showcases his love of guitar and vocal – based soul & blues, demonstrating his influences of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Steve Marriott and Sam Cooke, and earning him the description of ‘an old soul in a young body’. He has named his unique sound Acoustic Rhythm and Gospel, creating a new music genre and inspiring his audiences to follow the man and his music. Widely respected by his peers and well known to the gig-going audiences in the Midlands, he is now travelling the length and breadth of the UK looking to broaden his appeal, continue the journey that has taken him this far, make his mark on the national music scene, and see where the ride takes him. Questions answered by the man himself, Matt Henshaw…

When and how did you get started?

Mid-2013 I’d be knocking around in bands and making music on and off since I finished school, had my ups and downs as we all do and I thought why not just go out and start playing some of these introspective songs that only my bedroom and living room walls have heard out in public, and people seem to like it so I’m happy.



What have you been up to recently? Any plans for the near future?

Just writing and recording and getting myself out there as Matt Henshaw, solo, singer/songwriter. It’s a lonely business sometimes and you always have your back against the wall but when it’s just me, myelf and I, you’ve only yourself to rely on to pick yourself up and keep yourself grounded so I like it. As for the future, we’ll see what comes, what will be, will be.



How did your sound evolve… did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do from the beginning?

So organic, I’ve been in bands playing indie guitar music, blues, soul, funk, electronic stuff and hip-hop, and I forced myself almost to listen to a lot of esoteric stuff, but when I sit and write an inspiration hits me I always go back to something closer to home, I don’t think I’ll ever stray too far from the soul and a catchy chorus.



What can you remember of your first gigs, and what have you learned about approaching live shows since?

My first gigs are all blurry, I used to sing on buses if there was a microphone and at friend’s parties, I did Return to Sender by Elvis once at a mate’s 5th or 6th birthday party, very moving for the parents, I think everyone else was into their jelly and ice cream, I was always a little rock’n’roller and my music taste far advanced for my age.



Do you have any tips for working with promoters?

They’re all human, the same with sound engineers, record label people and anyone in the business, they’ll represent you how you represent yourself, the only tip I can give is to be natural, and try not to be a nuisance, it’ll only come back on yourself. Put the work in and they’ll put the work in for you, and if they don’t, it doesn’t matter because you put the work in yourself, and you’ll know not to bother with them in the future.



What do you consider to be your best 3 songs, and tell us the inspiration behind them?

I’m really enjoying playing one called ‘Stop Me Girl’ at the moment, it’s one I’ve been polishing up for ages, I used to sort of spar with an old mate at school, we’d always come up with song ideas then come in the next day and say “I’ve been working on this one, etc.” and it was a kind of friendly competition, this is sort of my ultimate soul ballad, falling so in love you can’t comprehend what you’re doing and lose control of all your senses and functions. ‘It Ain’t Easy’ is another favourite, it fell out of me late one night, I love it when that happens, it’s about having your life changed irrevocably by something or someone or an event and you know, for better or for worse, your life will never be the same again. And ‘My Life’ always gets a lot of praise, it’s not a love song and it’s a bit darker, always one for winning over the “chin strokers”, they won’t go ballistic when you’re playing on stage and singing but they’ll always come up to you after a show and say “well played mate, loved that one song about your life”.



Describe to us the process behind writing your music?

I write songs like you need the bathroom, sometimes nature calls and you just have to get it out there. Maybe it’s not as functional as that, more spiritual, a cathartic exercise, but saying that I’ve had a lot of good trips to the toilet.



How would you describe your own sound, or what do you hate being labelled as?

Soulful, heartfelt, someone told me recently I “stunk of musician”, I can only gather this to be a good thing as it can’t be Jack Daniels’ and body odour as I stopped drinking over five years ago and my personal hygiene has gone from strength to strength. I don’t know what I “hate” being labelled as, maybe I’ve not been doing it long enough to be labelled as anything in particular yet, but it is funny that originally being from Nottingham interviewers and radio jockeys always ask me about Jake Bugg, which I don’t mind, like I said, it’s funny, Jake’s a lovely soul, but all we share is geography and some of the same taste, I’m certainly not a Notts County fan.



What are your key influences (musical or otherwise)?

Whilst we’re on football I suppose being a Sheffield Wednesday fan has a huge effect on my mood, they can switch a song from a major chord to a minor chord in a matter of 90 minutes. Everything can be an influence, I write down all the things I like in a little blue and white notepad just to remind me there are nice things in the world. And musically, anything with soul.



Do new acts really need record labels anymore?

Not really. It just depends what works for each individual.



Many artists seem to be quite forward thinking when it comes to self promotion, what with the modern phenomenon of blogging, twitter, online releases etc. Do you think it’s important these days for bands to feel less segregated from their fan-base? What do you do to remain connected with them?

I’m always blogging and tweeting and doing all that stuff. Very approachable me. Drop me a line anytime, positive or negative feedback, I’ll always get back to you.



So far, what have you found helpful in getting noticed, and gaining fans?

Playing live is my bread and butter so I love that and always make new friends and fans out on the road, but the internet, wow, the internet. It’s huge, it’s a great democratiser and I know that people all around the world have listened to my tunes and read my beat poetry. That’s very cool.



Are there any online resource or sites you’ve found useful in promoting your band? How useful do you find Facebook and Twitter?

It’s all good. I was uneasy about it before but a mate of mine in another band said “they’re just vessels”, so if you just treat them as such you can make them work in your favour. I am enjoying YouTube at the minute, but just putting songs on there with minimal visual stimulus, getting positive reactions to my music is so heart-warming. And I love blogging, a music industry “insider” told me not so long ago that “blogging is dead” but I think I’d do it anyway if no-one read it, I love waffling on, as I’m sure you can tell.



Do you have management at present? If so, how has that changed things for you?

I’m looking after myself at the minute, I’ve had a few offers and worked with various people in the past, like I said earlier, all these people are just humans, you still have to work hard yourself, it’s all about finding different ways to connect with people, and the right people, that’s the most important thing.



What’s your favourite piece of gear, when it comes to live shows?

Would it be too twee to say my vocal chords? It’s just me and my guitar at the minute, and I’ve never had that kind of a adolescent fantasy feeling going for a piece of wood, as long as it’s in tune and I can get my words out I’m happy.

Check out his Music here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzdl3wOe7KA&list=PL7UCvjRIeiY9bHc8S5B10vDleLSXwSIdf

Or via Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/matthenshaw
http://www.matthenshaw.com

http://www.facebook.com/matthenshaw
http://www.twitter.com/matthenshaw11
http://www.soundcloud.com/matthenshaw
http://www.youtube.com/user/ilsonowl
Written by: jchick on 12/06/2013.on 12/11/2013.

Matt Henshaw Flid The Lid @ Brew Dog Review in Left Lion ...

FlipThe Lid at Brewdog

As another cold week in Nottingham drew to a close, a small handful of locals looking to wind down with some of Nottingham’s finest singer-songwriters gathered at BrewDog for an evening of exquisite beer and exquisite music. Flip the Lid is a new night hosted by I’m not from London, with four assembled acts who, although similar in performance, provided the crowd with a range of styles to satisfy everyone’s tastes.

First on was fresh-faced eighteen-year-old Josh Wheatley, who loosened the crowd with smooth pure vocals and sincere heartfelt tracks that gave the audience a flavour of what was in store. Dressed in a smart checked shirt, Wheatley set calming mood for the remaining night and in turn showed a real maturity in tracks like Sail Away that, coupled with the mellow tones of his voice, made for an enjoyable opening.

Matt Henshaw took the reins next, and shifted the tone onto more provocative but equally emotional lyricism that stepped the night up a gear. The most suave of the bunch, Henshaw dressed smartly in a grey blazer filled the room with his own self-proclaimed gospel and offered more diversity in his choice of song, from the hard-hitting As A Matter Of Fact to the politically themed Calling You Out, a track he comically attributed to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. With a fresh melodic vibe throughout, Matt Henshaw continued to set the pace and show why he’s been getting column inches in The Guardian and NME.

Matt Henshaw
Matt Henshaw
Filling in after the unfortunate withdrawal of Whisky Stain, Ben Fowkes presented his own style of song writing, rich in imagination. Recovering well from a broken string in his first track, Fowkes’ own brand of metaphor laden tunes provided a fascinating alternative to the more direct lyrical approach taken by the previous acts. Dressed in a vibrant cardigan, he befitted the venue.

Martin Sanders provided to provide the undoubted highlight of the night with his expert slice of sleazy blues and sixties guitar solos that really captivated the crowd and offered them a great high to end both the show and their week. Playing on a guitar that looked like it had been constructed out on an old trash can, his rough around the edges performance continuously laid down more and more groovier guitar solos that really made you feel like you’d been taken out of Nottingham and were swigging moonshine in a bar in the Deep South. Joined by Joe Barber for a mammoth finale of a track, Sanders showed that is more capable at matching the younger generation of performers that preceded him.

Overall then a fantastic plethora of talent that made for a hugely entertaining and warming end to the week. The future bodes well for next generation of Nottingham’s songwriters.

Flip the Lid was at BrewDog on Sunday 19 January 2014.

Matt Henshaw Pepper Rocks Review by Cassia Helme ...

Gig Review - Blessing Magore, Matt Henshaw, Esther Van Leuven, AJA @ Pepper Rocks 14/01/14
Written for NottinghamLIVE - find online review here.

I had never once set foot into Pepper Rocks until Tuesday night, which was the Unplugged Pepper Rocks send off party, to say goodbye to their sound engineer who's off travelling the world. What struck me about the place was it's cosy, small, antique feel. Made with brick, stone and wood, it offers a rustic, traditional pub feel, but with a youthful/edgy side to it, making it a popular haunt for a more alternative crowd. Taking advantage of the £3.50 cocktail offer, I grab myself a Woo Woo (can't help but think that sounds a little risqué...) and find a seat, which isn't particularly easy as the room is jam packed. I'm suddenly grateful I found a seat, as the gig starts a fair bit later than anticipated, as they usually seem to in Nottingham, but before I know it, BLESSING MAGORE takes the stage with LANCE, who I'm not quite sure whether to call an accompanist or not, because he doesn't sing, and plays the lead parts in the guitar, so I think I'm just going to have call him Lance!

This is a slight change up to the original line up, possibly explaining the late start, however Blessing seems comfortable, and confident as he opens the evening. Having had Blessing perform for us on the NottinghamLIVE radio show, I know a little of what to expect, and I'm looking forward to hearing them perform. Both men are on guitars, and Blessing strums as Lance harmonises and adds flourishes here and there. They have a chemistry and complement each other, but possibly due to the level of noise in the room, I couldn't really hear the vocals in the first few numbers. However what I do hear is really nice, with Blessing's vocals being smooth and his accent adding another layer of sweetness to them. There are lovely melodic passages to his music, with careful consideration being taken to song structure, and although there were a couple of small slips here and there, they recovered quickly, and they were barely noticed. Blessing also dedicates a song to Claudia, the 'off travelling' sound engineer, as she is heading to Africa, where Blessing is from. The song is catchy, and the vocals have charm and charisma. Half way through the performance, they are joined on African drums by Daniel Ison, who runs the Pepper Rocks open mic nights. The addition of subtle rhythm brings out another tone to Blessing's music, but doesn't detract from the vocal and guitar parts. Blessing also dedicated the next song to Claudia, but this number is a little darker and almost haunting at times, and again it as some lovely melodies. I do think that the guitars can be a little too similar at times though, and can feel a bit like a jam, but when Lance explores the instrument more, it really does bring out more intrigue into the music, and think that even more use of interesting guitar techniques would be nice to hear. Blessing has a sweet style and lovely vocals, and is a comfortable performer. His performance displayed a variety of influences and was a joy to watch and participate in.

Next on the bill was MATT HENSHAW who I have not seen performing live before, so was looking forward to experiencing something new. What struck me about Matt was his interesting use of chords and powerful vocals. He opened confidently, singing a track I recognised from YouTube, which has a country style feel to it, alongside a bit of The Beatles too. He has a heartfelt delivery, with passionately performed vocals alongside strummed guitar. The next number grabs my attention as it is lyrically honest and lovely, with a passionate performance on lines such as “My door is always open if you need a helping hand, my words are here to guide you, there's always something in the way”. His vocals are impressive, and a little pitchy at times, but this is a result of his intense delivery and heartfelt performance. His vocals are in his chest voice, which is strong and obviously where he is most comfortable, but I would love to hear his falsetto too. The next song he performs is of a different tone, using minor chords, and interesting chord progressions, he instantly has my attention. The change of pace adds interest to his set, and the sadness of the song brings another layer of character to Matt. There is desperation and even anger in this song with lyrics such as “I know you're saying something, but all I hear is nothing that can help me change my life”. The interesting subject matter works well with the unusual chords. His next song changes the pace back to a more cheerful tone, as he dedicated the song to his fellow performers. Bringing back the country notes from previous numbers, the crowd is enthusiastic and is continually supportive. Especially in the next song which he says is for Nick Clegg, David Cameron and George Osborn, which is slightly unusual and has the audiences attention. He then proceeds into a song where he is “calling them out”, and it has a distinctive blues feel, especially in the guitar hook. The song is well structured, with attention being paid to the melodies, which develop really nicely, and are well contrasted from verse to chorus. He finishes his set with some soulful tracks more traditionally about love, and dedicated his last song to everyone in the audience, which of course receives a good response. His entire set was pleasantly surprising and lovely to hear, with talent and a knack for good songwriting, I look forward to seeing Matt again very soon.

Next on the bill was ESTHER VAN LEUVEN, who I swear I saw four times last week. I think I am beginning to know all their songs off by heart just from frequent listening! What I can say about this dynamic duo, is that they are always a pleasure to listen to. Their first number is one of their new tracks 'Mr Loverman', which is soulful and sweet, and both Esther and Frazer are taking extra notice of their performance with consideration being taken with dynamics. The vocals are delicately delivered, but are also contrasted by powerful sections in the chorus. Esther uses her hands on the mic to gesture alongside her vocals, which is nice to see with music of their style. I find myself singing along, because let's face it, I almost know all the words. Their next track is darker, with a sexy, cheeky air to it, and adds a contrast to their set following their opening number. With lyrics like “we'll take it easy but we won't take it slow”, it isn't completely obvious what they mean, but this leaves their songs open for interpretation, which I think helps the audience relate to their music, and form connections with it. Their performances throughout the next few songs are beautiful, with precision and passion for what they are singing, and with excellent chemistry they are an unforgettable duo with heaps of talent. They work so well together, and Frazer is a wonderful support to Esther who takes the lead on vocals, but Frazer in his own right provides a wonderful accompaniment and is vocally irreplaceable in this collaboration. They finish their set with 'Better That I Let You Go' which is a gorgeously varied number, with plenty of room for Esther to showcase her vocals. I particularly love Esther's lower range, as she doesn't venture there too often, but in this track we hear more of it. Their set ends on a high and I can't help but want to listen to it again after it's over.

Ending the evening is the gloriously glamourous AJA, who takes to the stage with her laptop and effects pedals, changing the tone of the evening completely, and adding an electronic edge to the proceedings. She is has a big personality but is warm and open on stage, and this is important being a solo artist. Her performance is passionate and interesting, as she masters the electronica whilst putting on a visual show too and singing. She doesn't inhibit herself on stage, and seems to fully experience her music through her body as well by dancing. Her music is varied and has a definitive artistic direction which makes it special. She uses various electronic techniques intelligently, and obviously takes pride in her work, as it is clearly well thought through, with some unexpected and interesting turns which keeps the audience hooked. She has a mixture of styles, some more lively and dance inspired, other slower and spacious, using heavy reverb and delays on the vocals, creating an ethereal element to her style, which is particularly resonant with me as I am a huge fan of all things ethereal. Unfortunately, I had to leave AJA's set early, but I can say that her unique style, talents, lovely personality and hardworking nature sets her up for an unmissable 2014!

By Cassia Helme
Posted by Cassia Helme at 09:43

Matt Henshaw Nottingham Live Review ...

Review: Unplugged – Pepper Rocks – 14 January 2013
Posted on 3 days ago
4
I had never once set foot into Pepper Rocks until Tuesday night, which was the Unplugged Pepper Rocks send off party, to say goodbye to their sound engineer who’s off travelling the world. What struck me about the place was it’s cosy, small, antique feel. Made with brick, stone and wood, it offers a rustic, traditional pub feel, but with a youthful/edgy side to it, making it a popular haunt for a more alternative crowd. Taking advantage of the £3.50 cocktail offer, I grab myself a Woo Woo (can’t help but think that sounds a little risqué…) and find a seat, which isn’t particularly easy as the room is jam packed. I’m suddenly grateful I found a seat, as the gig starts a fair bit later than anticipated, as they usually seem to in Nottingham, but before I know it, BLESSING MAGORE takes the stage with LANCE, who I’m not quite sure whether to call an accompanist or not, because he doesn’t sing, and plays the lead parts in the guitar, so I think I’m just going to have call him Lance!

This is a slight change up to the original line up, possibly explaining the late start, however Blessing seems comfortable, and confident as he opens the evening. Having had Blessing perform for us on the NottinghamLIVE radio show, I know a little of what to expect, and I’m looking forward to hearing them perform. Both men are on guitars, and Blessing strums as Lance harmonises and adds flourishes here and there. They have a chemistry and complement each other, but possibly due to the level of noise in the room, I couldn’t really hear the vocals in the first few numbers. However what I do hear is really nice, with Blessing’s vocals being smooth and his accent adding another layer of sweetness to them. There are lovely melodic passages to his music, with careful consideration being taken to song structure, and although there were a couple of small slips here and there, they recovered quickly, and they were barely noticed. Blessing also dedicates a song to Claudia, the ‘off travelling’ sound engineer, as she is heading to Africa, where Blessing is from. The song is catchy, and the vocals have charm and charisma. Half way through the performance, they are joined on African drums by Daniel Ison, who runs the Pepper Rocks open mic nights. The addition of subtle rhythm brings out another tone to Blessing’s music, but doesn’t detract from the vocal and guitar parts. Blessing also dedicated the next song to Claudia, but this number is a little darker and almost haunting at times, and again it as some lovely melodies. I do think that the guitars can be a little too similar at times though, and can feel a bit like a jam, but when Lance explores the instrument more, it really does bring out more intrigue into the music, and think that even more use of interesting guitar techniques would be nice to hear. Blessing has a sweet style and lovely vocals, and is a comfortable performer. His performance displayed a variety of influences and was a joy to watch and participate in.

Next on the bill was MATT HENSHAW who I have not seen performing live before, so was looking forward to experiencing something new. What struck me about Matt was his interesting use of chords and powerful vocals. He opened confidently, singing a track I recognised from YouTube, which has a country style feel to it, alongside a bit of The Beatles too. He has a heartfelt delivery, with passionately performed vocals alongside strummed guitar. The next number grabs my attention as it is lyrically honest and lovely, with a passionate performance on lines such as “My door is always open if you need a helping hand, my words are here to guide you, there’s always something in the way”. His vocals are impressive, and a little pitchy at times, but this is a result of his intense delivery and heartfelt performance. His vocals are in his chest voice, which is strong and obviously where he is most comfortable, but I would love to hear his falsetto too. The next song he performs is of a different tone, using minor chords, and interesting chord progressions, he instantly has my attention. The change of pace adds interest to his set, and the sadness of the song brings another layer of character to Matt. There is desperation and even anger in this song with lyrics such as “I know you’re saying something, but all I hear is nothing that can help me change my life”. The interesting subject matter works well with the unusual chords. His next song changes the pace back to a more cheerful tone, as he dedicated the song to his fellow performers. Bringing back the country notes from previous numbers, the crowd is enthusiastic and is continually supportive. Especially in the next song which he says is for Nick Clegg, David Cameron and George Osborn, which is slightly unusual and has the audiences attention. He then proceeds into a song where he is “calling them out”, and it has a distinctive blues feel, especially in the guitar hook. The song is well structured, with attention being paid to the melodies, which develop really nicely, and are well contrasted from verse to chorus. He finishes his set with some soulful tracks more traditionally about love, and dedicated his last song to everyone in the audience, which of course receives a good response. His entire set was pleasantly surprising and lovely to hear, with talent and a knack for good songwriting, I look forward to seeing Matt again very soon.

Next on the bill was ESTHER VAN LEUVEN, who I swear I saw four times last week. I think I am beginning to know all their songs off by heart just from frequent listening! What I can say about this dynamic duo, is that they are always a pleasure to listen to. Their first number is one of their new tracks ‘Mr Loverman’, which is soulful and sweet, and both Esther and Frazer are taking extra notice of their performance with consideration being taken with dynamics. The vocals are delicately delivered, but are also contrasted by powerful sections in the chorus. Esther uses her hands on the mic to gesture alongside her vocals, which is nice to see with music of their style. I find myself singing along, because let’s face it, I almost know all the words. Their next track is darker, with a sexy, cheeky air to it, and adds a contrast to their set following their opening number. With lyrics like “we’ll take it easy but we won’t take it slow”, it isn’t completely obvious what they mean, but this leaves their songs open for interpretation, which I think helps the audience relate to their music, and form connections with it. Their performances throughout the next few songs are beautiful, with precision and passion for what they are singing, and with excellent chemistry they are an unforgettable duo with heaps of talent. They work so well together, and Frazer is a wonderful support to Esther who takes the lead on vocals, but Frazer in his own right provides a wonderful accompaniment and is vocally irreplaceable in this collaboration. They finish their set with ‘Better That I Let You Go’ which is a gorgeously varied number, with plenty of room for Esther to showcase her vocals. I particularly love Esther’s lower range, as she doesn’t venture there too often, but in this track we hear more of it. Their set ends on a high and I can’t help but want to listen to it again after it’s over.

Ending the evening is the gloriously glamourous AJA, who takes to the stage with her laptop and effects pedals, changing the tone of the evening completely, and adding an electronic edge to the proceedings. She is has a big personality but is warm and open on stage, and this is important being a solo artist. Her performance is passionate and interesting, as she masters the electronica whilst putting on a visual show too and singing. She doesn’t inhibit herself on stage, and seems to fully experience her music through her body as well by dancing. Her music is varied and has a definitive artistic direction which makes it special. She uses various electronic techniques intelligently, and obviously takes pride in her work, as it is clearly well thought through, with some unexpected and interesting turns which keeps the audience hooked. She has a mixture of styles, some more lively and dance inspired, other slower and spacious, using heavy reverb and delays on the vocals, creating an ethereal element to her style, which is particularly resonant with me as I am a huge fan of all things ethereal. Unfortunately, I had to leave AJA’s set early, but I can say that her unique style, talents, lovely personality and hardworking nature sets her up for an unmissable 2014!

Cassia Helme

Matt Henshaw Pepper Rocks Review in Left Lion ...

Pepper Rock’s ‘Unplugged Send-off Party’ unquestionably went down a storm with its attendee’s. To say the place was packed would be an understatement; the room was full to the brim with supporters, friends and club-goers. The closeness of the crowd and the dimly candle lit room gave a very personal, intimate ambience; the perfect set-up for what felt like a very inclusive party.

Blessing Magore kicked off an exciting night of live music, giving the audience a taste of combined musical styles with guitars and bongos, followed by Matt Henshaw who soothed us into a tranquil state. An evident firm favourite with the audience was Esther Van Leuven, who wouldn’t start until she had the audience’s complete attention. Her husky, whimsical voice was the perfect contrasting build up to what happened next.

In-between each set we got a glimpse of Aja and her DJing skills – as she set up her stage area it felt like we were waiting for a theatrical performance. A handmade banner and string of colourful fairy lights were placed around her performing space. Her outfit reflected her character, wild and carefree. Her personalised stage made it HER night and HER vision.

She kicked off her set by telling the audience to stand up; “we need some energy in here” she slammed from the microphone. The familiar slow starting beat of Raw begins, opening her set on a quieter note.

She knows what she’s doing and exactly how to get a crowd excited, building up the suspense of her music, waiting to erupt and let all loose. The production of her music is impressive; her creative flare for the construction of her tracks is undeniably obvious. It’s clear her passion lies in producing her own, individual sound from her unpredictable performance.

Kill Killer rattles out of the speakers, a clear favourite with much of the crowd who instantly start to actively dance and pick up. Her enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed and geared the audience up with one person banging along loudly on the table. The private party feel to Pepper Rocks infused with her electronic eerie voice works perfectly, there’s no denying her fans adore her.

Aja’s stage presence is unblemished, her interaction with her audience lifts the ambience instantly, toying and playing with them as she sings into their eyes. At one point she crawled into the crowd, lying on the floor as she spun her lyrics, she is there to give an energetic, dynamic performance and that’s exactly what she does best.

Aja, Blessing Magore, Matt Henshaw and Esther Van Leuven played at Pepper Rocks on Tuesday 14 January 2014.

Matt Henshaw in NUSIC's Pick of the Week ...

Tuesday 14th January will be the last Unplugged live event at Pepper Rocks for ‘some months’, so get down if you don’t want to miss out!

AJA is the headline act, on what should be a top evening, with a performance and DJ set – two for the price of one! As a solo artist she has lent her distinctive voice to acts across the midlands, whilst as a DJ she has proved to be a dab-hand with her in-depth knowledge of the Electronic scene.

She will be joined by ESTHER VAN LEUVEN. Something of a newcomer, she, too, has already appeared on Nusic’s radar as a powerful yet haunting vocalist who has the ability to carry the melodic numbers strummed by her guitarist, FRAZER LOWRIE.

Next up are the easy listening vibes of BLESSING MAGORE. Blending such genres as RnB, Jazz, Reggae and Funk, Blessing is just one of the great talents to come out of the legendary CRS studios. Finishing off the night is Matt Henshaw.

Price: FREE
Doors: 8:30PM

Matt Henshaw in Left Lion's Pick of the Week January 2014 ...

Unplugged Send Off @ Pepper Rocks
The team behind the Unplugged nights are having a bit of a break, what with their sound engineer Claudia gone off travelling again, so they’re putting on a massive send-off party to tide you over ‘til their return. There's music from the likes of Aja, Matt Henshaw, Esther Van Leuven and Blessing Magore, as well as a DJ set from Aja to keep you dancing into the early hours of the morn’. Not only that, but there will be happy hour cocktails, plenty of games and some fancy dress. It’s bound to be a night to remember them by.
Tuesday 14 January, 8.30pm, free, Pepper Rocks, Pepper Street, NG1 2AH

Matt Henshaw interview with Now Tune In ...

January 12, 2014
Interview with Matt Henshaw
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January 12, 2014 - Sunday
Interview with Matt Henshaw
http://MattHenshaw.com/


1. What is your name and what do you play?

Matt Henshaw, I sing and play the guitar amongst a few other things.

2. Tell us about your music for anyone who has not heard it yet?
I make soul music, maybe not always the way you might expect soul music to traditionally sound but it's always from the heart and from the soul.

3. Share a brief history about yourself?

I was obsessed with football as a kid then when problems with my knees meant that I couldn't be a professional footballer I became obsessed wit music, guitars, singing and writing songs. I was in a band straight out of school, we did OK, had a record deal and everything that goes with that, then drink made it go the same way as the professional football career, so I got sober I went to study and didn't think I'd make music again. Then I fell in with a hip-hop crowd and started writing and singing again, then I thought I need to get out of my office job and go for it as a singer-songwriter.

4. Do you enjoy being a solo artist or do you see yourself making a band one day?
I love it. I have to rely on myself and sort out the logistics for only me. I do play in a band on the side called Satsuma Elephants and love to do that with y mate more often, but I only get the chance to express myself fully when I'm by myself.

5. How did you get into the style of music that you play?

I started figuring out what music I liked when I was young in the 1990s then traced it back and I kind of feel like everything really went back o or went through Sam Cooke and The Beatles, they're my foundations really.

6. The song "It Ain't Easy" how did it come about?

It was the first thing I wrote when I picked up a guitar again having not touched one for years, it's like it was meant to fall out of me. Sometimes I think I disagree with Alfred Lord Tennyson when he says "it's better to have loved and too have lost than never to have loved at all". You know your life is changed irrevocably when you've fallen in and out of love.


7. What's the most challenging part so far in your musical career?

Making money. I don't like money. So it's that you have to be chasing it all the time, but that's only a small part of it really, I don't worry about it.


8. How would you say you have evolved since you first started?

Older, wiser, more mature, stone cold sober and more soulful.

9. What are some of your influences?

Love and passion influences everything I do. And good music, you can find it everywhere.

10. Are you working on anything new?

I'm always writing, and I'm quite excited about 2014, I'm going to be working with a few different producers in a few different places so I'll have a lot of new product. Very exciting !

11. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?

Not really, I hate repetition, so if I ever find myself doing something I might have done before I quickly snap out of it.

12. What's your favorite part about being a solo artist?

Like I said, I've only myself to worry about, I'm not a control freak or an ego-maniac, quite the opposite, I worry and get anxious if there's anyone else involved, I don't like letting people down, if you're on my team I put a lot of pressure on myself for us to win.

13. Where are you performing in the near future?

Everywhere hopefully. I'm starting the year in the East Midlands in the UK and then working my way around the country. I've had a lot of invitations to go all over the world from Europe to Australia to North America so as soon as it's feasibly possible I'm getting on a plane and playing wherever I'm invited.

14. Do you have a website?

Yeah, nice and simple MattHenshaw.com, you can find all my social networks from there.

15. How can people get in touch with you?

Add me, follow me, email me, there's loads of ways to get in touch. The best way to keep in touch is to sign up for the mailing list, I mail out every now and and you can reply to me that way too.

16. Do you use any social media and if so where can people find you?

I'm more or less on anything, my favourites at the moment are YouTube and instagram, kind of instant visual communication, but you can find me on facebook and twitter too, I suppose a good thing to do is search my name in Google and you can find bits of me all over the place.

17. Anything you would like add?

Spread The Love, share the Love and let everything you do be guided by Love and light.

Matt Henshaw interview with Luke Tyler of Sound Cavern ...

Interview: Matt Henshaw
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By Luke Tyler / January 12, 2014 / REVIEWS/INTERVIEWS / 2 Comments
Matt Henshaw

Midlands man Matt Henshaw is a burgeoning talent in the UK music scene, working both with collaborators and going it alone, armed just with an acoustic. We caught up with him to hear a bit more about his diverse and original sound.

The internet has informed us that you’ve operated under a B-Boy Soul formula. Can you shed some light on that for us?

B-Boy Soul was something that me and my mate ReggiiMental worked on whilst I was at University, basically a combination of his hip-hop influences and my soul influences, good fun, funky and a bit political in parts. We’ve done two albums and a couple of EPs, and might do some more in the future.

Have them influences shifted somewhat in your current songwriting, or would you say they’re still a mainstay in your work?

Soul music is my biggest influence, Sam Cooke and the rest of ‘em. Love it. And I do love some hip-hop stuff but I’m no rapper, so when you get Matt Henshaw solo it’s soulful acoustic stuff.

Your Rhythm and Gospel Calvacade leans away from your earlier work slightly by removing the hip-hop element, but it’s still predominantly soulful as you’ve mentioned. Is the influence of black music a generally a key component in your overall sound?

I suppose so, I’m not a fan of the term ‘black music’ but a lot of my favourite singers are or were black so I guess by default I am. But it’s often said my biggest three influences are black music, blue eyed soul and BritPop, and you would think these things would exclude one another, but no, it’s all music, it’s all good no matter what colour or country provides the sounds.




Does the prominence of your acoustic work lately suggest you might be moving in that direction?

It’s more a geographical and logistics thing, it’s a lot easier to organise the affairs of one person, especially if you are that one person. I’ve collaborated with people all over the country – they’re so spread out that it’s hard to work on something other than my acoustic tunes with any level of consistency that I’d be happy with.

Besides it being easier logistically, do you enjoy cutting it solo in that more stripped-back way?

Yeah, I’ve only myself to blame, it’s easier to let go and be more emotive, and it’s easier to express myself without compromise or considering how anyone else might feel, I do love it. It took some getting used to, though, as I hadn’t really ever played much proper proper solo until last summer.

With that in mind, you’ve got a gig in Leicester and then back in your native Notts. Is it good coming home?

Yeah, I love playing in Nottingham – seeing people that I don’t see week in, week out – I always make sure I see all my grandparents, still blessed with four of them knocking about !

Finally, what does 2014 hold for Matt Henshaw?

Getting around the country playing as many gigs in as many different and new places as possible. I’m recording with a few different people over the coming months and just seeing where this journey takes me. There’s no plan, just keeping myself happy doing what I’m doing and avoid going back into an office or job centre again at all costs … is that too much to ask?

Matt Henshaw in the Leicester Mercury protesting again Tesco ...

Tesco store for Clarendon Park: 200 attend meeting to say no to plan
By Leicester Mercury | Posted: January 08, 2014

By Tom Mack


About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park
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About 200 people attended a meeting to tell Tesco they did not want a new supermarket in Clarendon Park, Leicester.

The company has said it plans to take on Sainsbury’s and the Co-op by opening a branch at the former Barclay’s Bank in Queens Road.

But residents are worried about the fate of small independent traders, the dangers of delivery vehicles and the headache of extra parking problems in the area.

A meeting, chaired by Leicester Mercury editor Richard Bettsworth, took place at Avenue Primary School on Tuesday night and Tesco corporate affairs manager Simon Petar attended, along with about 200 members of the public.

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Mr Petar revealed that the company’s plans for the shop were already at an advanced stage, with work taking place inside the building to remove asbestos.

Several people at the meeting, including Ian Measures, questioned what power they really had to stop the shop from opening.

Mr Measures, 30, said: “How many people would it take to say no?”

But Mr Petar said his job was to listen to local people and “take on criticism to improve” Tesco’s plan, rather than consider whether Tesco should give up.

He said: “I appreciate there are those that will not want to shop in our store but I know there are those that would - the majority of people.”

He said the recent petition with 2,700 signatures objecting to the store was “impressive” but had not put the supermarket chain off.

He said: “It’s a fantastic campaign [against Tesco] but there are those who signed that petition who will be in the shop.”

He said people were welcome to vote with their feet by not using the Tesco Express when it opens.

Local resident Jem Coady, 65, told Mr Petar: “It’s disingenuous to say we can stop Tesco by not shopping there.

“People who shop there are likely to be the transient populations of students.

“The fact they shop in your store will affect local businesses.

“What’s going to be the affect on local businesses that don’t have the clout Tesco has?”

Mr Petar replied that Tesco would be competing with the Co-op and Sainsbury’s, which both have stores in Queens Road.

Matt Henshaw, 26, accused Tesco of turning the Sainsbury’s on Bede Park, Leicester, into a “derelict” building by opening a store opposite.

Harry Amlani told the meeting his store Ram News, near to Leicester Railway Station, lost 80 per cent of its takings and was forced to close after Tesco opened in London Road.

He said: “Tesco is going to destroy most of the independent shops.”

One woman did stand up and tell the meeting she wanted the store.

She said: “There are lots of people in the area who probably do want it.”

A man from the audience shouted in response: “But they’re not here.”

A poll taken at the meeting saw two votes in favour of the store and about 200 against.

The meeting ended with a threat from local campaigner Mags Lewis, who said: “We hope [Tesco] will change their minds before the PR disaster we are planning unfolds.”



Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Tesco/story-20414662-detail/story.html#ixzz2rKIgW5jD

Matt Henshaw in The Monograph magazine ...

http://issuu.com/themonograph/docs/issue8_issuufinal_singles/6?e=7028593/6197297


Matt Henshaw talks tea, Tippy The Cat, Tesco and soul music with Jessamyn Witthaus ...

Arts In Leicester's November 2013 Music Diary featuring Matt Henshaw ...

Charlotte Carpenter’s Tea Party at The Cookie Jar

If you haven’t been to one of Charlotte Carpenters Tea Parties then I suggest you do. They’re usually held on the last Friday of the month in the Cookie Jar at the Crumblin’ Cookie. There’s tea and cakes to be had, cocktails in teapots, bunting, candlelit tables (sometimes) but most importantly, a great line up, in which Charlotte always features.

Tonight’s line up was no exception and had attracted a large number of advance ticket sales, including one person who had traveled from Belgium just for this gig. The large crowd meant that the candlelit tables were left out to make more room.

Matt Henshaw got the evening underway. Having recently re-located to Leicester, the well dressed Ilkeston born singer is rapidly gaining attention here. Not surprising considering the excellence of the voice he possesses.

Matt Henshaw at the Cookie Jar
Matt Henshaw at the Cookie Jar

It was a much stripped back performance, with only his delicately plucked acoustic guitar and some hand clapping backing up the soulful bluesy vocals. A great performance, only tainted by the distraction of constant chatter that started at the back of the room and crept forward throughout the set.

Follow Matt Henshaw on Facebook

Matt Henshaw Live Review in The Ripple ...

The Ripple Interviews Ex Leicester Student Matt Henshaw
October 31, 2013 by Culture Editor 1 Comment
26 year old, Matt Henshaw, talks “tea and tealights” after his acoustic set at Curve.
How long have you been playing for?

Well, I’ve been playing since I was a kid. Before I came to the University of Leicester I was in a band with a record deal but going to uni was an attempt for me to distance myself from that sort of life. I’m not certain if it’s recession or lack of jobs but that kind of thing inspires my creativity and a need to do something off of my own back. I’ve realised that ultimately, this might make me happy, and that’s really all that I can ask for.
So, have you only just come back to playing music or did you play during your time at university?

I fell out of love with playing the guitar so I just did vocals with hip hop groups and soul bands. A lot of the songs that I write are about falling in and out of love with things, and whilst it’s easier to sing about falling out of love with people, it’s not always the case. Now it seems that I’m falling back in love with playing the guitar and writing songs.
Have you listened to any of the local bands? What do you think of the Leicester music scene?
I decided to be a singer/ song writer this July and since then, I’ve met a lot of great people and a lot of great bands. For me, watching a gig with a cup of tea in a room full of tealights is the best kind of experience. It’s quite a warm scene, I’ve found, and everybody is friendly.

Your band, Satsuma Elephants, are they still touring?
When I decided to get back into playing music, I asked a friend of mine, who plays drums, to come and jam with me for a bit. Another guy that I know filmed a 45 second clip of us playing, and once it was uploaded onto YouTube, we got a few requests to play some gigs. It’s not something that we’ve put much work into but the rewards that we’re reaping have been fantastic. Unfortunately, the drummer is also a rather dedicated accountant so I don’t know if we’ll be continuing with the band.

What is your view of popular music at the moment?
I think that the music industry, the charts, and televised competitions are completely against what music is about. What’s quite sad is that as much as I love playing and performing on stage, the majority of the time, I’m looking for money in it. The difficulty comes in trying to do that without selling my soul. I got a phone call from somebody from The Voice asking me to participate in the show but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t feel as though I could be honest and that would affect my music.
As much as you want people to hear your music, are you alright with people listening to it for free online?
Apart from a vocal minority who have the backing of the industry, I think that most artists would be happy for the public to be sharing and enjoying their work. Hopefully, listening to the music will initiate people to come out to live gigs which is where an artist should be at their best.

What’s next for you?
I’m going to be putting some stuff together for a record and then finding the right people to back it. The only problem that I’ve been having is just the boring stuff: getting the pocket change together and licensing. That kind of thing.

Some Tealights with Matt information was passed around during the performance and they’re quite a fitting vehicle to represent the kind of music that he plays. The music is understated and works well in a warm, intimate atmosphere. The only problem with Matts work is how safe it is. The songs are well performed but the lyrics can be a little prosaic and one or two songs lack that something extra to elevate them creatively. Thankfully, Matt Henshaw’s personality comes across in his music and this, in itself, makes him worth a listen. It won’t necessarily change your life, but Matts music is fine when you just want something simplistic.

If you want to see Matt Henshaw live, he’s playing at the Charlotte Carpenters Tea Party gig at the cookie jar on the 29th November. He also has two webpages with some of his solo music and some of his work with the Satsuma Elephants.

http://www.matthenshaw.com/
http://www.satsumaelephants.com/
by Theo Beecroft

Matt Henshaw interview with The Leicester Music Pages ...

Matt Henshaw Interview October 27, 2013 1
henshaw
Matt Henshaw Interview
To be honest I didn’t really know a lot about Matt Henshaw until recently and after listening to his Soundcloud channel continuously for the past week, the words eclectic and eccentric come to mind and I genuinely find his style a refreshing change from what other similar singers are putting out at the moment.
Matt was the NME breakthrough act winner of 2010 and has featured in the Guardian as well as having a string of radio performances and continues to wow audiences with his extraordinary mix of B-Boy Soul and Rhythm n Blues.

If you have never heard his stuff then he is definitely worth a listen and if you have, enjoy the interview.

LM: Can you describe yourself in three words?
MH: Lead with a tough one, I want to steer away from neurotic singer songwriter so I’ll go with kind quiet gardener. My two personalities.

LM: Where were you born?
MH: I was born in Nottingham shortly after the election of Maggie Thatcher to the highest office for a third time and Michael Jackson’s Bad was selling millions of copies.

LM: When did you come to Leicester?
MH: I’ve been back and forth for years now. Finally settled down just about now I think, hopefully my roaming tendencies don’t make me wander.

LM: Why did you come to Leicester?
MH: Originally to study, years ago. And then, weirdly, work, it was the only place I could get a job, then I got bored and had to find a creative outlet and everyone in the Leicester arts and music scene has been so warm and welcoming I’m glad I’m here and feel at home.

LM: How old where you when you began to express an interest in music?
MH: Well, there was an advert on tele with Deep Purple on it and I remember that had some affect on me, and Oasis’ first album went to number one on my seventh birthday I remember but I didn’t really take an interest in playing and singing until I had a football injury and realised that being the next Chris Waddle wasn’t going to happen.

LM: Where your parents supportive?
MH: Yeah, they had no previous interest in music or any experience of it, or even much in the way of money, but I think they recognised my passion for it so they’ve been as supportive as parents can be.

LM: How would you describe your music?
MH: I like to call it acoustic rhythm’n'gospel, but I don’t know if it’s anything that grandiose, just soulful heartfelt songs.

LM: Who are your musical influences?
MH: Mainly the old soul singers like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye, but I’ve gotta say I probably get closer to Steve Marriott and Stevie Winwood. Which I don’t mind.

LM: What’s your favourite music genre/s?
MH: Soul music, but that’s not restricted to Stax and Tamla Motown, anything that has feeling and is well crafted.

LM: Do you remember your first ever gig?
MH: Not really gigs but I used to sing songs on buses if anyone wanted to listen. But then the first time me and my mate who played the drums got asked to play at his neighbors birthday party I got too shy and wouldn’t sing, so we played a few instrumentals!

LM: Do you have any music on release at the moment?
MH: If yes give all details about the release Nothing official, I’m working on loads of songs and I’m being quite patient trying to find the right avenue to take with the songs that are so personal and close to me. But if you search around, I’ve pad my dues, and you could find something to buy or watch that would help fund my Yorkshire Tea habit.

LM: What are your plans for next year as far as your music goes?
MH: Keep going, pay the bills and keep petrol in the car, spread the word as much as possible in Leicester and around the country and then do a proper release when I’ve sorted out the logistics and gathered what cold soulless business I believe called “critical mass”.

LM: What are you currently listening to in the car?
MH: Traffic, the band I mean, not just rolling the window down and enjoying the sounds of the streets.

LM: What will your next music purchase or download be?
MH: I’ve no idea, I always feel like I own or have listened to all the music I’ll ever need to hear, and I’m in one of those phases at the minute but something always comes along that’s worth a go. Probably Charlotte Carpenter’s next EP though come to think of it.

LM: Finally, Christmas turkey or Christmas crackers?
MH: Not really sure, I like the excitement of crackers, but it’s always short lived and not really much use unless you need a miniature screwdriver set or a pack of playing cards too small to ever actually have a game of rummy with. And food is always welcome, dinner is usually the best part of Christmas day, it’s a bit of a family tradition of ours that we always listen to Glenn Miller, I have no idea why, but it’s the nicest part of the day when everyone’s together and happily eating away.

LM: Matt, can i just thank you for taking the time out to answer my questions today.
MH: No Problem at all.

You can here one of Matt’s personal favorites ‘It Ain’t Easy’ below or visit his You Tube channel.

Matt Henshaw interview & podcast with Leicestershire Music ...

Leicester Music Podcast – 17th October 2013
In this months Leicester Music Podcast John Sinclair speaks to local reggae legend Tanni Browne, also Echo Location who can best be described as an avant progressive pop-punk band talk to John. Plus New comer to the city Matt Henshaw tells us what hes up to and there is also chat and music with the very talented George Simpson. And to top things off RnB singer Justine Whyte will be on the show.

You can also visit our You Tube Channel videos HERE

Matt Henshaw in the Leicester Mercury ...

Oxjam makes the city rock
By Tom_Mack | Posted: October 21, 2013

LEBW20131019G-047_C
Grace and the Magic Roots were among the performers at this year's Oxjam
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Music lovers enjoyed a day of live bands as Leicester’s Cultural Quarter bounced to the beat of Oxjam 2013.

Thousands of people, hundreds of bands and mainly mild weather made for a successful event, held to raise cash for Oxfam.

Local bands played throughout Saturday at 13 venues including Curve, The Exchange, Manhattan 34, The Soundhouse, The Shed and on an outdoor stage in Orton Square.

Ascend the Skies, a metal band from Market Harborough, played at The Shed on Saturday night.

Bassist Matthew Pearman said: “We love coming to Leicester to play.

“It’s great to support a charity like this and it’s a chance to play more shows, which is great fun.”

Music fan Lesley Owen-Jones, 48, of Oadby, said: “It’s been a really good day.

“We came along mainly to watch Band Jaxxed at The Exchange and they were great - they showed that old timers can still have life in them!

“We also saw Matt Zara playing guitar at the Ramada Encore and he’s only 14 but he’s brilliant.

“There’s been a great atmosphere all day and the weather was mostly perfect.”

Among the first bands to perform on the open air stage was ska act Iyahkayah and the Mid Dawn.

Guitarist Ashley Newton, said after the performance: “We had a great set. We’ve been going just over a year and it’s good publicity for us.”

They were followed onstage by Grace and the Magic Roots, who performed dressed as Woodland Animals.

Alan Hobbs, 41, from Leicester, said: “I watched the ska band and then Grace and the Magic Roots and they went down really well.

“You could really feel it building up to be a great day.”

Vanessa Adamson, of Birstall, who was there with her family, said: “I love all kinds of music and it’s so nice to see so many different styles.

“I’ve been before and I just love coming to see live music. We saw Matt Henshaw play at The Exchange and he was great.

“He even sang a song for my daughter, Grace.”

Ruth Sanders, 20, of Leicester city centre, spent Saturday morning handing out leaflets with her friends.

She said: “We’re in the Oxfam Society at the University of Leicester so we came down to volunteer and it’s been great.

“There are lots of brilliant unsigned acts in Leicester and it’s been really good fun.”

Other bands performing during the day included Oh Ruin, The North from Sheffield, Vanishing Point, The Activators, Midnight Wire and Mid Beats, while some venues also had performances of poetry and dance.

There was also an Oxjam market with more than 50 stalls in Orton Square selling food, arts and crafts.

Organiser Anna Webb said she expects the event to have raised about £10,000.

She said: “It was great and every venue was packed out.

“It was twice as good as previous years and the weather was great.

“Even when we had a quick downpour people didn’t run off home - they just ducked under the cover of the Curve and waited it out.

“We had really great bands and people came from all over.”

• Click here see our gallery of pictures from Oxjam Leicester 2013.



Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Oxjam-makes-city-rock/story-19962038-detail/story.html#ixzz2rKAkzJsv

Matt Henshaw on MusicInLeicester.co.uk

Matt Henshaw

Matt Henshaw
Matt Henshaw at the Soundhouse

Matt Henshaw performs in Leicester – see his web site for gig dates.

Find out more about Matt Henshaw from his web site | Follow him on Facebook.

Matt Henshaw on the University of Leicester website

Musician member of staff releases solo single
Posted by ap507 at Oct 07, 2013 04:25 PM | Permalink
Matt Henshaw debuts soulful acoustic track 'It Ain't Easy'
Musician member of staff releases solo single
Matt Henshaw, an employee and musician from the University whose music was described by the Guardian as 'sublime', has released his first solo single.

The melancholy track, titled ‘It Ain’t Easy’, is a soulful acoustic song with a forlorn atmosphere that is sure to strike a chord with fans of heartfelt and catchy folk music.

Matt has been in previous musical incarnations such as the band Censored at the age of 17; has played Leeds, Reading and Isle Of Wight festivals; and has received a substantial amount of radio airplay. He has also supported the likes of Snow Patrol, We Are Scientists, Supergrass, Ocean Colour Scene, Arctic Monkeys, The Bluetones and The Holloways.

His collaboration with UK underground hip-hop artist Reggiimental helped coin the genre ‘B-Boy Soul’, and the two have since produced an album, ‘The Deepest Cellar’. More recently, Matt was voted by New Musical Express (NME) readers to open the main stage at London’s Lovebox festival.

Matt has a series of shows coming up in Leicester city, including headlining on the acoustic stage at the Curve Theatre for Oxjam in association with Oxfam on Saturday 19 October. There will also be a feature written on him in the next issue of the Ripple.

Link to Matt's website
Listen to the track by clicking below:



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Matt Henshaw on MusicNottingham.com

Matt Henshaw: two new tracks
posted in New Releases by Mike A
Matt Henshaw has uploaded previews of his forthcoming single, “It Ain’t Easy”/”My Life”. The single will be released on 7″ coloured vinyl soon. Matt’s next city gig is at Pepper Rocks on Tuesday 23rd July.





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