GIG: Matt Backer
DATE: Wednesday 13th November 2013
VENUE: The Dublin Castle, 94 Parkway, Camden
COST: £4.40 in advance
OUR VERDICT: No Idle Hands here

Matt Backer is a session guitarist par excellence. He has a CV that is just jaw dropping. ABC, Bananarama, in fact anyone who made a record in the 80’s will have benefited from Matt’s contributions at some point. Rumor’s another recent addition to that CV. He’s also MD for Julian Lennon and features heavily as the main guitarist in “Don’t Forget The Lyrics”. It was while he was playing with Mari Wilson when we first saw him. We also caught him when he did his debut gig for Paul Young’s Los Pacaminos, and you could see why he is so in demand.

We caught Matt a couple of weeks ago at the same venue, when he did a warm-up solo performance for this, his full band gig. It was a bonus for us to find out that tonight his drummer was Jim Kimberley from Kellys Heels/Bruise, another couple of Liverpool IPO band favourites of ours. Jim always plays a great beat and is probably one of the finest drummers we’ve seen play.

The “band”/karaoke playing when we arrived weren’t our cup of tea, and as soon as they finished everyone from the pub suddenly made their way into the music room. It became obvious Matt had brought quite a following with him.

The set started with a really slow, moody, bottleneck blues song, which set the tone for most of the night. With Simon Edwards on bass, this turned out to be a great bluesy band. Matt has some really great songs of his own. “Cold War” from his first album is a fine, well observed rocker. “Let’s Art” from the new album “Idle Hands” is quite smart too.

“All That You’ve Wanted” was co-written with Julian Lennon, and if there was any justice in the world this should be a hit! Matt on-stage is very laid back, and tends to let his guitar playing connect with the audience as much as any between song chatting.

The thing with the Dublin Castle is everyone has to do a pretty short set, and Matt’s was no exception. The time just flew in and it all seemed over in a flash. The set was excellent though, and he got a well-deserved reception. It was great to see up close, such a genuinely talented guitarist. If we hadn’t seen him before this would definitely have made us realise why he was such an in demand professional .

To have the opportunity to see him perform his own material was certainly a bonus. His own albums stand up well to anything he has recorded for any of the bands and artists he’s worked with in the past. Another great gig for us and an artist we would recommend to go see.

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