Sunday, May 22, 2022

Matt Pearce and the Mutiny, Thursday 26th September 2019: Upstairs at The Garage, London

As a member of the successful hard rock band Voodoo Six, Glasgow-born guitarist Matt Pearce supported Iron Maiden on a concert tour and appeared in front of millions of heavy metal fans around the world.

But 18 months ago he found himself at a crossroads in life and felt as if he “had to mutiny…” perhaps to survive. He admitted he had always engaged with funky bands such as Little Feat, Gov’t Mule and Tedeschi Trucks, so he began to bring together some of his own funk, blues and soul songs for a solo album that was released in May 2019, titled “Gotta Get Home.

This Thursday, we saw Matt Pearce and the Mutiny performing their first large headline show in a neat place known formerly as Thousand Island, though now renamed The Grace (in other words, upstairs at the Garage, Islington). When we saw him, Thunder were in concert directly below!

A friendly atmosphere of bonhomie spread the warmth of excitement across the little venue even before Matt and his superlative band-mates came to stage.

Matt Pearce @neilmach 2019 ©
Matt Pearce @neilmach 2019 ©

Accompanied by special guests, including the impressive female singer Daliah Sherrington and the sexy saxophonist (and Matt Pearce lookalike Chris Backhouse) this was a carnival of fun. If you can imagine Peter Green (with the voice of Joe Walsh) playing groovy jams along with Bootsy’s Rubber Band — you wouldn’t be off from describing the bouncy elan on stage on Thursday night.

The show began with the stylish dance-rock number “Scarecrowing” with elastic organ, simmering rhythms and bright accompaniments. This was an expressive package of damn sexy beats and playful emotions.

Soon after , we were treated to the the roguish and delicious: “Like a Hammer” with a chorus that burst forth and became glorious — and which may have been used to mask the hidden reflexes in the lyrics.

The slide-driven original blues number “Gotta Get Home” was reminiscent of some of Elmore James’s sounds, and came with a slippery organ, ribald rhythms and gator-swamp atmosphere.

“Set me Free” — towards the end of the show — was a song of golden glory… a painful and plaintively lyrical treasure that produced vibrant liberation and brought a sense of joy to the applauding audience.

This was a performance that combined smoke-house blues with the soul of Philadelphia, and the sexy push of a Johnson Brothers-type bump, to create a variety of funked-up vibrations that had, each-and-every-of-them, been carefully crafted & delivered to create maximum pleasure. Amazing!

Neil Mach
RAMzine Senior Writer - With a career spanning 30 years author / journalist Neil Mach is an expert on the music business and is a reliable guide. He especially loves heavy metal, prog & blues.

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