Monday, 20 June 2011

The End Of The Road

IMG_0449 by mattstevensguitar
IMG_0449, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

That's it then, Ghost gigs over. No more acoustic gigs for a while and next time it will probably be a very different set list, even though I've been playing a couple of "Relic" songs in the current set (Rusty and Scapegoat) and they seem to work well live. I'm not sure how much of the new material will work with just guitar to be honest, the new stuff has some more complex arrangements. It was nice to put up a live album to end it all - thanks loads to everyone who has purchased it, I've been amazed by the response - you can get it (free/pay what you want) at:

I'm really pleased to say the final gig in Islwyn was one of the best Ghost ones, great crowd and I got to play a couple of songs (Big Sky and Get Carter) with my friend Alun Vaughan (some of you may know him from prog rock beat combo Panic Room) on bass, he is brilliant. A lovely small appreciative audience and the other acts Andy Long, Dr Lewney, Alun Vaughan on great solo bass and the wonderful guitar duo Chris and Dan Fry were all great. A wonderful way to finish it off. I was so pleased so many people made the effort to come and see me so far from home and I still find it amazing when they know the songs.

I've a couple more gigs booked for later in the year. I'd like to have some other musicians with me for them, if possible or they may be guitar and pedals gigs - perhaps for a one off gig next year? I'm not sure really. Any volunteers? :)

For months all I've been doing is worrying about getting theses gigs done, I'm happy it is all over so I can think about finishing the next album for the autumn and look back on the year I've had at the half way point.

In the last 7 months I've played with Barclay James Harvest, Panic Room, Godsticks, Alan Reed, Touchstone, Credo, Also Eden, Fish, From Great Height, Jump and loads more. I've played to 20 people some days and hundreds the next. In London Islington Academy, Kingston, Blackpool Electric Garden Festival, Brighton Great Escape Festival, Mattfest, Rotherham, Islwyn in Wales, Rushden and all sorts of other places - Leisure Centres, to pubs to festivals to big london venues and the wonderful Peel. I've met hundreds of amazing, lovely people and some people who thought I was an idiot playing along to backing tapes (surely if I were using tapes I'd make them perfect every time?). Classic Rock Prog, Alarm Press, Progression, CRS,Acoustic, R2 all picked up on my stuff as did some wonderful podcasters and bloggers, I've been very lucky. Its interesting how opinion polarises as your music becomes more well know (and I'm still very obscure). Some people really got it and some people said "why won't he sing" - not everyone is going to like what you do and I'm very thankful for the wonderful people who do get it.

Stuff I've learned:

Book Train Tickets in advance
Some promoters are better than others
Take photos
You can get away with a lot if you look like you know what you are doing
People are nicer than you think
Twitter gets people to gigs.
Be careful what you wish for
Don't google yourself after a support slot :)

For the Relic gigs I want to do a week tour rather than spreading them out, if possible. We'll see, depends how the album is received really.

I'm going to be offline for a while to work out some new stuff and start again with the new music. And do some Fierce And The Dead stuff.

See you soon and thanks lots,.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Matt Stevens


Tom Emmons said...

What an epic journey! It's been great discovering your music as a solo artist, and enjoying your streaming shows. With all your talent and tenaciousness, I'm sure that your career has legs.

I've certainly learned a lot from you, and you've given me the courage to move on with my own musical journey.

Thanks again for all you've done.

Sean Cotterill said...

I'm with tom on this one. Your music introduced me to the independent scene and the Bandcamp/Twitter community, and without that introduction nobody would have heard my music.

Cafenoodle and all of the streaming gigs have been fantastic, and all of your praise is by far very well deserved.

Huge thanks matt.

Unknown said...

Thanks guys - i'm really glad to have helped if i ave :)

Andy Long said...

Hope you can come back and play again if we've still got a club!

Unknown said...

I'd love to come back and play again - I was very well looked after and I saw a cool bridge and got fed. Thanks loads :)


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