Live Review | Matt Gresham | 27th May 2017

June 3, 2017

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In a small space at the Islington last night, a young man quietly stepped onto the stage, picked up an acoustic guitar, then proceeded to blow us away with his transcendently stunning, soulful voice. Fusing folk, pop, electronic, a little rap and some terrific blues, Australian native Matt Gresham was a one-man band, instrument in hand and foot on a drum. His exceptional sound resonated with ethereal loveliness – combining poignant and superb lyrics, impressive guitar playing and soaring vocals, his style is eclectic, innovative and unique. Including pieces from his new album One Night in May, a few hit singles and some older selections, the performance was amazing and uplifting.

Gresham’s experience on The X Factor helped launch his career, although he dropped out of the show to pursue his work independently. Having signed with Warner Germany, he is on his way to conquering the European music scene. At 28 he is a WAM Award winner (West Australian Music) in his home country and has had great success with hit singles like Small Voices and Survive on Love. Last night’s renditions of these tracks reveal why: they were outstanding, as were all his songs. The artist also included fantastic tributes to Paul Simon with Graceland and Bob Marley with No Woman No Cry.

Of Survive on Love, Gresham stated “…I feel the pain that is in the world at the moment…so much anger, hatred and negative media… [This] song really is about loving each other a bit more because that’s all we really need to solve most of the world’s issues”. His idealism is refreshing and reflects the spirit of his idols, Paul Simon and Bob Marley – “I gotta make room for those legends…” – by whom his style is clearly influenced.

Gresham has the kind of exceptional abilities that electrify and light up a concert hall – the ecstatic cheering from the crowd confirmed his immense musical charisma. His work expresses his combination of compassion, humility, humour and wit; the singer’s heart is on his sleeve, his sensitivity beautifully channelled through his remarkable artistry and exquisite sound. Matt Gresham is a budding star and a talent to be watched.


Catherine Sedgwick
Photos: Erol Birsen