On 24th May, Jizzy Pearl, the former lead singer of LA-based hard rock band Love/Hate, performed the first of four all acoustic ‘Songs n Stories’ shows, featuring Stevie R. Pearce on guitar, concluding a string of dates on Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate’s UK Sticks n Stones tour.
Supporting at Manchester’s Gullivers NQ was Irish singer-songwriter Matty James Cassidy, accompanied by sax player Bret Barnes. I’d seen Cassidy perform at the end of last year when he played with Tyla’s Dogs d’Amour. Getting back to his Irish folk roots, Cassidy sang and played acoustic guitar and came across as a wholly genuine, amiable character, who was born to excel in this genre of music as it clearly came so naturally to him.
With a considerable set-list, songs included Same Old Me, which inspired audience participation with Cassidy singing “It’s a brand new you” and the crowd, by this time well warmed up, promptly replying “Same old me!” There was some superb sax playing from Barnes, whose long golden locks were probably the envy of most of the men (and women!) in the room. His playing culminated in a terrific solo during the final song, which received a huge round of applause.
On a dreary and wet Saturday night in Manchester, I headed to Gulliver’s in Manchester Northern Quarter for an acoustic night of rock n roll, put on by Crazy Cowboy Live Events, who put on some great nights here in the UK and bring some of the best artists out and around. I have seen Matty James Cassidy a few times in the past and I have been a fan of his for a while. He makes some of the slickest sounding music I’ve heard. Being a fan of old school rock, blues and country he definitely hits all the right buttons when it comes to my music taste. I am also a big fan of acoustic jam nights. There just something so honest and pure when music is played this way. Also on this night we were treated to Golden Daggers and there was also mention of a special secret guest, who turned out to be Manchester rockers Gorilla Riot. With the room music room filled and the atmosphere electric the night began.
After a bit of a break we got to the main event of the night, Matty James Cassidy. The stage looked bare following the other two acts. Simply set up with Guitar, Saxophone and a drum box, which in all honesty is all you need. It did its job at the end of the day. It was much different that the last time I saw him with his full band. With the simple set up coupled with the intimate setting it was a really bright and fun set for such a dreary night in Manchester. The music sounded great with Matty’s bellowing voice matching perfectly to the songs. The saxophone was a really nice touch to the evening; it contrasted off of the guitar really nicely giving the songs a real bluesy vibe to them. Matty’s personality shone in this smaller venue cracking jokes with the crowd and sending them home happy. He played a really great cover or Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” which got the crowd going and a great rendition of his song “Gunpowder” linked in well since it was the weekend of bonfire night. My only regret of the night is that I had to go early, because of public transport; if it hadn’t been for that I would have definitely stayed of the entire show. It’s all a roll of the dice at the end of the day.
This was a superb set and I had so much fun. Once again, I’d like to thank Crazy Cowboy Live Events for inviting me along to the show and for putting on a great night, as they do so often. Both support acts were more than worth the trip out and Matty is still one of my favourite artists working the live scene today. If you have the chance I would highly recommend checking out all of them. If they’re playing near you anytime soon go along and check them out.
Next up, the only artist I was 100% familiar with prior to coming to this show. I saw Matty last year in Manchester and I became a fan of him there and then. This time around he had his full band with him and I had a better knowledge of his songs. It’s fair to say that he got a really great reaction from the crowd. He really drew the Manchester audience in and got them singing along. It all sounded really great. The guitars were well played and the bass just made the music sound absolutely massive. It also helps that Matty’s voice is so distinctive and booming. There’s just so much personality in this music. The rocked up version of these countryfied songs sounded great, it almost became a punk rock set. Everywhere I looked I saw people rocking out and having a good time. So I think Matty did his job in getting more of the crowd in and enjoying themselves.
All the way from Northern Ireland was Matty James Cassidy and his band. With punk and rock ‘n’ roll influences, he has created wonderful songs that fluctuate between the heavy and in-your-face to laid back, folky melodies. With an evident passion for music from a young age, his set was energetic and backed by an equally brilliant band – adding to the power and atmosphere that flooded from the stage. Again, there was a large following that banded together at the front, chanting along to each and every chorus. I thoroughly enjoyed them and hope to see them again very soon!