The indie brilliance of Scott Matthews

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SINGER songwriter extraordinaire Scott Matthews proves he isn’t so Elusive as he makes his much anticipated return to the island on Saturday, for a show at Peel’s Centenary Centre.

The indie-folk-rock Wolverhampton wonder made his Manx debut at Mannifest 2011, and seeing the Ivor Novello Award winner in an altogether more intimate setting in Peel is sure to make for a special atmosphere.

Plus all proceeds from the gig will go to the Manx Cancer Help charity.

It has all been put together by French artist and new island resident Bruno Cavellec (see p26), who worked with Matthews on each of his three album covers, and spoke to him after his Mannifest slot to see if he could tempt him back for a charity gig in 2012.

In a live setting, there is something about Matthew’s often delicate music, not a million miles away from the Damien Rice school of songwriting and a voice of Jeff Buckley proportions, that inspires a hushed devotion from audiences.

Expect some accomplished jamming too, Matthews is no slouch on slide guitar.

Influenced by artists including The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Marc Bolan, and Joe Satriani, the Wolverhampton-based musician released his first album Passing Stranger in March 2006 on San Remo Records.

It remains a gem of a debut, a swirling and layered acoustic record with dashes of psychedelia and Eastern influences.

It picked up momentum with airplay from BBC Radio 1 DJs Jo Whiley, Dermot O’Leary, and Zane Lowe, while it was first single Elusive that attracted the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically in 2007.

The 2009 follow-up Elsewhere, in between slices of peaceful folk, introduced heavier elements to the sound, with Matthews, in places, backed by a full band.

Highlight 12 Harps is a duet with fellow Wolverhampton native the legendary Robert Plant, an ambient stripped-back duet.

Last year’s third studio effort is quiet, ethereal and melodic.

‘Scott Matthews is simply one of the UK’s best kept-secrets,’ exclaimed Bruno. ‘Very few artists manage to convey true emotions through their music like Mr Matthews does.

‘There is something almost spiritual to his voice at times and his melodic sense is just mind blowing… otherworldly. This is a man who can write songs with a grace and subtleness that many contemporary singer/songwriters just cannot match.’

Support comes from Manx songstress Christy DeHaven.

Tickets cost £13 and are available from Celtic Gold, Peter Norris Music, Shakti Man, Thompson Travel and online at

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