Not content with being one of television's top 'funny' men, Matt Berry has long enjoyed a separate career as a musician. This second job has seen him go in all sorts of unusual musical places but perhaps the most impressive was his album Witchazel in which he explored a sort of woodland folk music inspired by Watership Down. Here are lush arrangements of folky tangles in awe of the 70s folk stylings of Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Don't laugh - he's being serious this time.
Vinyl LP £18.49 AJXLP251X
YELLOW vinyl LP on Acid Jazz.
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Is there anything that this bearded genius can't do? Not content with filling me with mirth (and other things) as a comedian, Matt Berry turns his pudgy hand to music again. Having composed music for TV and film, he isn't a chancer in that department. He's not like some Hollywood twat who thinks "I wanna try putting an album of covers out... yeah that's a really good idea". Ben Affleck covering 80's stadium fillers Simple Minds...Dimple Minds if you will. This LP is in my opinion Matt's take on the Canterbury sound and I reckon the results are ace. Not so much as a comedy record more like a love letter to that period of music. And he's pictured with a pheasant on the front cover. Ace. The LP starts with a tune that sounds like a Motown classic. It's a pretty strange record is this folks...it leaps then into full-on (almost) J. Tull territorah with some really complex arrangements. Matt plays most of the instruments on this record and he's no chump either. Every song has really lush passages within them. From the haunting "Pheasant" to the almost prog "So Low". He might be taking the piss but his arrangements and compositions are so quality you could be forgiven for thinking that this record could be in any prog rockers collection. There are numerous quality moments on this LP. Who would have thought that the heartthrob from HeartBeat could come up with something as interesting, coupled with a sly sense of humour progressive folk rock record....and he was in Eastenders...no that was Nick Berry...Ohhhh shit....this is a record that demands attention....and you should give it said attention..x
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- Witchazel by Matt Berry
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