Matt Andersen rolled into Dublin for the opening night of his forthcoming European tour, a beautiful summers evening greeted him as a dedicated and faithful crowd gathered inside Dublin’s long established and historical music venue The Grand Social Club.
Situated just yards from the famous Ha’penny bridge, The Grand Social Club could be mistaken for just another pub buried amongst the many littered along the river Liffey in Dublin. Tonight though it hosted one of Canada’s finest exports Matt Andersen, a resident of Perth-Andover off the East Coast. No doubt he was a long way from home but he was in a room full of friends on this fine evening.
The Grand Social itself is a quirky venue, a Tardis of sorts inside as you weave your way through its narrow corridors until you grace The Loft, with its quaint décor and intimate setting on top of the building. Right then I knew we were in for something a little special, a solitary seat positioned front and centre of the small stage ahead.
First up was Jesse John Heffernan, Jesse is an Irish soul singer whose unique and uncompromising sound is set to make its mark on the industry. Inspired by legends such as Sam Cooke, Van Morrison and Marvin Gaye I found his style to be whimsical, reminding me of this likes of Keziah Jones with a Jazz and Soulful influence deeply rooted in his sound. The crowd warmed to his charm, no stranger to the limelight Jesse has emerged from a richly talented family, his actor brother Aaron Heffernan from Love/Hate, Super Model cousin Thalia Heffernan, Presenter/Producer Father David Heffernan and Irelands first black Model Mother Tina Denis, Jesse will no doubt continue the success with his engaging and melodic style of music.
By the time Matt took to the stage, the crowd greeted him warmly now encroaching towards the front. The night was kicked well and truly off with the up-tempo number ‘Gift Of Life’ a bluesy little ditty that got the crowd going hands down. Blistering solo’s and sublime vocals were the theme of the night as he delicately man handled the gathered mass through his repertoire of emotive and melodic anthems. Old and new favourites came thick and fast, ‘Quiet Company’ taken from his latest offering Honest Man, ‘Coal Mining Blues’ a stirring ballad of a broken man unrecognisable to himself in his own reflection, t silence filled in the room as Matt bellowed the lyrics with all eyes staring him down as the maestro conducted his orchestra of one.
One of the highlights of the night was his cover of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘People Get Ready’ in which he got the crowd well and truly involved, the gents with a testosterone driven “Ohhhh Ahhhhh” and the ladies harmonising the delicate backing melody. The energy in the room was palpable as Matt roared the lyrics with pride as his adoring gathering gave their all with 100% Irish gusto.
‘Devil’s Bride’ kept the energy high and electric till the end, before Matt wrapped up proceedings with ‘My Old Friend The Blues’ leaving the Dublin crowd on their feet in rapturous applause as he left the stage. A remarkable intimate show by a truly remarkable musician. A stunning vocalist who simply has to be appreciated live.
Matt continues his tour onto the UK in May and Europe in June.
Matt Andersen – May 2017 UK Tour Book Tickets – www.mattandersen.ca/tour
The Grand Social, Dublin Thursday 18 May
Fochabers Public Institute, Fochabers Village, Scotland
Friday 19 May 15 High St, Fochabers, Inverness, IV32 7EP Box Office – 01343 821 325 www.morayvillagehalls.org.uk/hallhire/fochabers.html
Sunday 21 May Tickets – http://bit.ly/2jmSEo1 Box Office – 01224 641 122 Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen, AB10 1BF www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/partner-venues/the-tunnels
The Mash House, Edinburgh
Night & Day Cafe, Manchester
The Borderline, London
You can purchase Matt’s latest release Honest Man here – http://www.stubbyfingers.ca