Those brave enough to venture out into the dreich midsummer’s day rain were rewarded by the superb debut listed performance of Matt Sillars at the Glachbeg Folk Club on Tuesdat the 21st of June . Showcasing his song writing ability, vocal range and tremendous mastery of the guitar, the audience were treated to a 3 part set.
After joking that he was sponsored by Strepsils due to a vocal injury during practise, Matt began with a trio of blues songs. The two originals and one cover were an introduction to the emotional journey that was to be wrung out of the audience before the evening had finished. Making bottleneck slide guitar look like child’s play, the ‘crying’ of the guitar, married to the skilful use of vocal dynamics, brought the blues alive.
The second group of songs moved to a more singer songwriter style. All self-penned, the four songs contrasted and complimented each other well. This set brought the listener from the lows of heartbreak, and the resulting paralysis of fear, to a plea for understanding, to the excitement of a runaway couple eloping, to the frenzy of marital consummation and finally back to earth with a song of regret and yearning that was so powerful it left the audience stunned. Matt’s song writing style features imagery that stays with the listener long after the notes fade away.
Following a much needed tea break, and recovered from the emotive rollercoaster of the first 2 sets, the audience were treated to Matt’s final 3 songs of the night. Joined onstage by 2/5ths of the Blackrock Ceilidh Band, providing fiddle, mandolin, banjo and percussive accompaniment, the trio brought the night to a rousing, rollicking conclusion. All originals, Matt’s sheer delight in performing the self-described Ameri-Ceilidh-Country style was evident and quickly roped in the audience to the fun being had onstage. We were all left wishing the longest day of the year could have gone on for just a little bit longer.
If you have the chance to see Matt Sillars perform, you will not be disappointed. The listener will be treated to diverse musical styles, skilful use of vocal dynamics, changes in tempo and time that leave you wondering how he manages to write and perform such difficult music, and lyrical expertise that takes you on a heartfelt journey through the human psyche.
Watch this space, you will be hearing far more from Matt Sillars.
Many thanks to the contributor who reviewed Matt Sillars gig for us.