The Crescent, York
What a perplexing experience this gig was.
Excellent support from Wolf Solent from York and Andy Jenkins from Richmond VA warmed us up nicely.
This was billed as a Matthew E White solo gig so I guess we were expecting versions of his hits.
Lights down, bar closed. MEW walked on stage, introduced his guitarist and said that he wanted to try out some new material. He then handed out sheets of set lists and pens and asked us all to rate every song. Each song had options of ‘check’, ‘check plus’ and ‘check minus’, which he said was what they used in kindergartens in the US.
I confess that I was not entirely sure that this was what I was looking for in a gig; I want a break from the routine, not to be sitting looking to rate a song on a bit of paper.
We got through about half the gig (2 check plus, 4 check minus and 2 in a special check minus minus category pop pickers) and then MEW asked for audience members to come on stage and sing along. We took it as a chance to exit gracefully. When I stood up MEW, who came across as a very genial fellow, asked if I was singing. I had to tell him that I was leaving.
As he had thoroughly broken down the 4th wall I felt it was OK to go to the stage and tell him why. I told him in the nicest way that after pounding nails on sites for 5 days I’m looking for transcendence, laughing and dancing and that this was not for us. He said ‘fair enough’. I liked the fellow but just felt it was a misstep.
Of course I don’t know if he did do any of the good old stuff later on and I feel it’s a bit off giving a review when we didn’t stay to the end but I thought the massive might be interested/warned about this.
To repeat, I like MEW but this was very much a marmite experience which came as a surprise to us.
I’m looking forward to the below the line comments.
White. Middle-aged and young. Supportive.
It made me think..
I’m going to have to take a look at myself but then again so should MEW.