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The song stripped bare

May 30th, 2010

Filed under: FESTIVALS & EVENTS



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It’s sometimes hard to summarise an experience like a sold-out singer-songwriter festival where you see 8 or more acts in a row. So I will just strip down this blog entry to the bare essentials and make a special mention about the biggest surprise for me of the evening: Matt the Electrician. It’s not the Paul Simonesque voice, the quirky album cover art with the chicken or the trademark beard + hat combo. It’s Matt’s lyrics. During “Happy Ending” I found myself in tears – the story of a girl shooting out of the deeps of the ocean, where down can sometimes mean up, where she’s, like him, looking for something – a Happy Ending. He was accompanied by the very able Scrappy Jud Newcomb from The Resentments. This intimate line up of two guitars and a cajon drum performed in the foyer at the MuziekCentrum. Amongst the atmospheric sounds of people enjoying drinks and the gift of stories set to music, Matt Sever reminded us how to be happy. He told us stories of an amazing castle stay in Denmark (which is a Folk High School, I kid you not) where he wrote a wonderful song with a Scandinavian artist whose name I didn’t note down. Its lyrics and melody still resonate with me, even though I can’t recall the name of the tune; he and his new friend had written it just a couple of days before performing it.

The Isbells (Belgium), Joanna Newsom (US) and Ane Brun (Sweden) were the headline acts, and were all impressive in their way, but Matt the Electrician sparked something special in me; thanks.

Speaking of nakedness, this was my last visit to the Muziekcentrum before it is to be reincarnated as the Muziekgebouw after its summer overhaul. The scaffolding was already up in the Heuvelgalerie entrance, ready to close the curtains for a couple of months so that the great reveal can take place in September.

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