ALBUM: The Great Untold – Scott Matthews 27.04.18

ALBUM: The Great Untold – Scott Matthews 27.04.18

Words by James Attwood

On Friday 27th April, Wolverhampton’s Ivor Novello award winning songwriter, Scott Matthews, is set to release his sixth studio album, The Great Untold – out via Shedio RecordsScott Matthews will be also performing at St Paul’s Church in Birmingham on Sunday 20th May, as part of The Great Untold UK Tour – as presented by Moseley Folk. For online ticket sales from Skiddle, click here.

Recorded over a winter spent at home, The Great Untold is very much a milestone for Matthews and sees him starting a new chapter in life as a married man and soon to be father.

Title track, ‘The Great Untold’, opens the album with a tender, intimate affair between Matthews’ soft vocal and guitar intricacies. Accompanied by nothing more than flourishes of piano, it certainly sets the tone; Matthews goes back to his roots as an acoustic act, with inspirations such as Tim Buckley and Nick Drake ringing through loud and clear.ALBUM: The Great Untold – Scott Matthews 27.04.18

‘As the Day Passes’ also puts Matthews’ stunning vocal delivery at its forefront; with a lullaby like piano outro, and soothing picked Spanish guitar part that harks influence from world music, it’s the kind of song you would expect to hear in a Wes Anderson film.

The hazy vocals of ‘Silence’ create the atmosphere of a summer’s evening. The chorus sees Matthews muse, “Silence, nothing’s complicated in my solitude, where I can hear myself…” in a statement that confirms his re-kindled solace as an acoustic artist, away from his full band environment.

‘Something Real’ is euphoric and joyous in its musical arrangement, with bold acoustic guitars providing a counterpoint for Matthews’ vocal powerhouse. His mastery of melody and harmony is at the forefront of this track and it would be no surprise to find this particular gem as a Jeff Buckley B-side, its ringing guitars and soaring vocal falsetto harking back to Buckley’s iconic Grace album. The same goes for The Great Untold’s lead single, ‘Cinnamon’; subtle soundscapes and drone like vocal delivery create an atmosphere that creates imagery of the time in which the album was conceived.

ALBUM: The Great Untold – Scott Matthews 27.04.18 / UK tour datesTracks such as ‘Goodnight Day’ and ‘A Song to a Wallflower’ particularly stand out for me and help to diversify the album, which dare I say is needed at times. ‘Goodnight Day’ shows a darker side Matthews’ songwriting; a Gold era Ryan Adams-esque ballad, Matthews is accompanied by a choir of vocal harmonies in this big screen noughties film soundtrack worthy affair. Whilst the steady beat of ‘A Song to a Wallflower’ sounds as if it came straight from the Help soundtrack, with strummed acoustic guitars and Beatles bass sound it could easily have been penned by Lennon and Mcartney.

The album closers, ‘Daydreamer’ and ‘Chapters’, take us back to the place where it began, merely an acoustic guitar and Matthews’ tender vocal delivery.

Despite its thin instrumental textures, The Great Untold is still every bit as captivating as Matthews’ 2001 debut album, Passing Stranger – a yardstick the artist has arguably been judged by since its release. But the lack of percussion on The Great Untold is perfectly subsidised by Matthews’ vocal talent, providing plenty of melodies, highs and lows to keep the listener hooked.

You could further suggest that the largely acoustic sound of The Great Untold encourages the best from the songwriter’s voice and instrumental prowess, as heard on 6 minute epic ‘Lawless Stars’. A combination of moody reverberating guitars accompany Matthews’ blanket of choir like vocal harmonies, seeing the songwriter make the most of the most of his natural vocal gift. The track is a journey, building into a crescendo of guitars and voice before it fades into an instrumental section containing just a slide guitar part – a nod, once again, to Matthews’ Bert Jansch influence.

Although an album of beauty, for me The Great Untold stays a little too much within its seemingly set format of acoustic guitar and vocals, lacking the raunchy guitars and primal beats that can be found in Matthews’ wider portfolio.

But as a relatively new listener to Scott Matthews, this latest album did not disappoint – showcasing his songwriting talent and ability to write catchy melodies that do not conform to the typical songwriter style. And in a time of overdressed pop production, an album that often contains just a voice and a singular instrument is especially refreshing.

‘Cinnamon’ – Scott Matthews

The Great Untold by Scott Matthews is out on general release from Friday 27th April, though Shedio Records. For more on Scott Matthews, with links to online purchases for visit gig tickets and Matthews’ full catalogue, visit

For more from Shedio Records, visit

Scott Matthews will be performing at St Paul’s Church in Birmingham on Sunday 20th May – as presented by Moseley Folk. For online ticket sales from Skiddle, click here.

BPREVIEW: Nerina Pallot @ The Glee Club 09.04.18

BPREVIEW: Nerina Pallot @ The Glee Club 09.04.18Words by Ed King

On Monday 9th April, Nerina Pallot performs at The Glee Club in Birmingham – with support from Cattle & Cane.

Doors are open at The Glee Club from 7:00pm to 7:45pm, with the show scheduled to start at 8pm. Please note, latecomers will not be admitted. Tickets are priced at £18.50 (adv) – for direct show information, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Stopping off in Birmingham for the second date on her April UK tour, Nerina Pallot is on the road with her latest album, Stay Lucky. Released in October 2017, Pallot’s sixth studio album is a ten track line in the sand – a polished LP with strong melodies, recorded in a reported two week stint at London’s RAK Studio.

A friend once challenged my to name an artist, or band, that got better album by album. Try it. It’s not as easy as its sounds. But Nerina Pallot is a firm fixture on that list, having evolved from the Dear Frustrated Superstar days of pop intent into the savvy lyricist and genre crossing multi-instrumentalist that delivered The Sound and the Fury and Stay Lucky.

Pallot’s never been too far away from addictive melodies, but her last two albums are well rounded stamps of superiority; from vocals to rhythm, there’s an exciting late bloom coming from Pallot in these not-so-salad days. There’s also a bevvy EPs out there too, with Pallot undertaking the very literal Year of EPs project – releasing one extended play each month across 2014. Google and ye shall find.

But to pick out a couple of cherries from Pallot’s latest LP to reference, the title track wouldn’t be a bad place to start – ‘Stay Lucky’ shows off Pallot’s vocal range, subtle production, and aptitude for ivory led melodies. Then after a couple of backwards arrow clicks and you have ‘Bring Him Fire’, a tough edged declaration with some staccato guitar from Bernard Butler. But it’s all cracking stuff on Stay Lucky, with elements of jazz, soul, and mature pop melodies flecked throughout the album.

Pallot’s legion of live fans, that travel the length and breadth of the UK to follow her on tour (in a way that would end you up in court if you don’t have the ticket stubs to argue a defence), will be shouting from the side lines right about now as well. It’s not just Nerina Pallot’s music that has made her such a supported and self-governed artist, there is something inescapable and endearing (and funny) when she performs. If you haven’t seen Pallot perform live, you really should.

And whilst I could drown us all in hyperbole, adverbs, and Union Chapel reviews to back this up, instead I’ll stumble over a somewhat clumsy segue, as Birmingham gets its chance to find out on…

‘Stay Lucky’ – Nerina Pallot

Nerina Pallot performs at The Glee Club on Monday 9th April – with support from Cattle & Cane. For direct gig information, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit 

For more on Nerina Pallot, visit

For more on Cattle & Cane, visit

For more on The Glee Club venues, including further event listings across all sites, visit