River Matthews – St Pancras Old Church, London – 13/07/17

River Matthews is without a doubt one of the most exciting new singer-songwriters to emerge from one of the busiest genres over the last year. His debut ‘Stars’ cemented the London songwriter as a tour de force in the folk-tinged, New Orleans style acoustic world. With serious love coming from Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2, she invited Matthews down to perform a stunning session – a massive achievement for an artist on his first release!

However, it’s new EP Sunshine that’s really resonating with people. On the day of release, Spotify stuck the lead track on it’s highly coveted New Music Friday playlist. The result? The beginning of a cult following of the musicians work – and a sold out St Pancras Old Church show last week.

It’s a bizarre venue, this, in that it is very literally a church. I suppose that the collection money going round on a Sunday doesn’t exactly pay for the upkeep, so charging the thick end of a fiver for a can of scrumpy is a pretty savvy idea. Matthews strolls unassumingly on stage at 9pm to an almost silently attentive crowd, and instantaneously stuns with his totally unique, vintage style vocals. He then takes an hour to capably belt out tremendous pieces of folk, pop & New Orleans style blues & soul. It’s nice to see a London headline show with seemingly very little industry folk & lots of genuine fans there to see a real talent in waiting. Finishing with the more accessible but undeniably catchy ‘Sunshine’, fans were keen to get involved.

All in all, a great statement of intent from an artist with a very exciting future in a stunning London venue. Keep an eye out for River Matthews on a festival line-up near you.

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