Matt Woosey at The Great Malvern Hotel - 24.03.12

Somehow I seem to have gotten a reputation as a hater of blues music - now while there's a smidgeon of substance in that, when it comes to anything that starts off with 'Woke up this morning and my woman done left me' type of thing - I am actually just about amenable to music in any form whatsoever - because I reckon that quality stands out in whatever format it's delivered.

Which is why my gig of choice for last Saturday was Matt Woosey at the Great Malvern Hotel - and not just because it was also genial mein-host Lisa Bircham's birthday. Matt has got an incredible history in recent years - he kicked off fronting up the blues-rock trio Taxi about when BBC Introducing in Hereford & Worcester hit the airwaves, before forming his own outfit The Strange Rain. He's without doubt the hardest-gigging artist in the country - playing six or seven gigs a week - and has just returned from a tour of the Low Countries with half-a-dozen or so features on Belgian and Dutch national TV.

It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it - most blues outfits leave me pretty much comfortably numb - but Matt Woosey is just utter quality in a nutshell. Accompanied tonight at the Great Malvern Hotel by Malaysian bassist Adji - whose effortless and completely stylish bass runs complemented Matt's totally soulful sound in numbers like Jump Back In seamlessly. He's got a new album out called All Or Nothing - and he gave a preview tonight of new numbers She Just Called and Elsie May - and it's very acceptable indeed!

What Matt's got is that certain quality that's so hard to define - the nearest I can think of is what makes say classic Led Zeppelin a bit more than just a bunch of blues-rockers who just throw in a bit of boogie now and again - and I have no hesitation in putting Matt in the same bracket.

Andy O'Hare

Local gigs and music CD reviews

  • Published
  • Section
    BBC News