Thursday, 31 October 2013

Matt Henshaw Biography 2013

Matt Henshaw’s biography is already complex at the age of 26, which gives his song-writing a depth and maturity that could only have come with experience; suffering for his art and travelling a journey that has shaped and honed his skills – and it shows. Having paid his dues, he is still on his way up…and the best is yet to come.

This soul-loving, tea-drinking gardener is a singer/songwriter of some repute from Ilkeston, between Nottingham and Derby, who is now living in Leicester and taking the local music scene there by storm. His penchant for acoustic sets and original songs showcases his love of guitar and vocal – based soul & blues, demonstrating his influences of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Steve Marriott and Sam Cooke, and earning him the description of ‘an old soul in a young body’. He has named his unique sound Acoustic Rhythm and Gospel, creating a new music genre and inspiring his audiences to follow the man and his music. Widely respected by his peers and well known to the gig-going audiences in the Midlands, he is now travelling the length and breadth of the UK looking to broaden his appeal, continue the journey that has taken him this far, make his mark on the national music scene, and see where the ride takes him.

His recent decision to perform as a solo artist, stripping back his unique sound to just an acoustic guitar and his superbly mellifluous voice, has already generated much interest and he can be found most evenings on a stage doing what he was born to do, guitar in hand, working his particular brand of magic; his beautiful soulful voice and ethereal guitar weaving a spell over a gathering with self-penned songs so resonant with emotion and meaning they would cause an angel to weep, leaving his audience spellbound and wanting more. This rapidly growing interest has strengthened his resolve to make himself prominent on the UK music scene, and his web-based activities on popular social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter growing his following to promote himself and his music are now paying dividends, with fans across the globe wanting more.

His superlative voice and stage presence has already won him critical acclaim from respected publications such as the NME and The Guardian; he has been featured on BBC Introducing numerous times, appears regularly on independent radio stations throughout the Midlands, and opened the main stage for Dizzy Rascal at Lovebox Festival in London after winning the NME Breakthrough Act in 2010. He was previously a founder member of Censored, a band who garnered much critical acclaim and fame throughout the Midlands, and who supported Snow Patrol, Ocean Colour Scene and We Are Scientists, also playing the Isle Of Wight & Reading and Leeds Festivals. More recently, he has collaborated with numerous artists in and around his home patch to create a unique sound with the Derby-based MC Reggiimental, which has been dubbed B-Boy Soul and which generated the widely-acclaimed album ‘Coming Around’- the most under-rated album release of this year. He has also teamed up with a former bandmate, under the name of Satsuma Elephants, to generate psychedelic rock with soulful undertones; an eclectic mix which demonstrates how successfully he can slip from genre to genre, and even create new ones, without losing integrity and which showcases his appeal to his many appreciative fans.

Monday, 28 October 2013

An Open Letter to Sheffield Wednesay FC & Sheffield Wednesday Fans ...

Now, I don't usually do this but this evening I found myself embroiled in a debate on a Sheffield Wednesday fans' forum, as a short-term facebook user something like this was bound to happen eventually, it was noted that an article had been written about the possibility of sacking Dave Jones and replacing him with, possibly, Paolo Di Canio, and names have been thrown around like Ian Holloway, Alan Curbishley or the return of Gary Megson ... I'm sure there may have been some one step away from suggesting Ron Atkinson ! So, I considered a response, and for about 30 seconds decided whether it should stay in my head or allow myself to transcend my thought via my fingers, keyboard and through to the world wide web ... I did it ! And here's what I had to say ... would love to know if there's any Wednesday fans, football fans or generally anyone with an opinion out there who agrees or disagrees with me ...

" It would be foolhardy to sack Jones at this stage, what's the real alternative? All the names mentioned would cast Hillsborough as a circus big top like it was in the late nineties/early noughties, and we all know how that turned out, are we still feeling the affects of Wim Jonk's wage bill ?

Anyways, I hope we can stick with Jones and turn it round, the Championship is always about a string of results completely sending your season one way or the other, I take a tiny glimmer of hope in the fact that most games have been draws and not losses, and we've managed to score in every game bar one, maybe I'm clutching at straws but I don't see any major issues, with any particular players, management or Milan, not that they're all great either, but Wednesday fans always are quick to forget the not too distant past and forget that we're still a fairly newly promoted club, and whilst we have a grand history, it was only automatic promotion due to the rapid decline of the other team in the city as late in the season as April 2012, under a new manager - the man in question - and without the massive investment seen at some other clubs and whilst attempting to rectify financial stability at the club. We managed another season and had a real good push towards the play-offs towards the end.

I hope I'm not eating my words come the new year, but there's always a notion with Wednesdayites to look back through rose-tinted spectacles to this golden era of the nineties, when in reality it was predicated on a similar structure of instability that saw the socio-political spiral [system] into chaos a few years later, debt, complacency and lots of it! The clubs that have survived and flourished since that time are the ones that have progressed, built solid foundations, been more business-like and rational in their decision making rather than fiery and, indeed like I said, foolhardy. Now, I wouldn't want our beloved club to be as boring as Stoke or Fulham but I'd love to support a Premiership club again ! Up The Owls ... the only way is up right now though isn't it !??"

So, there it was, my first foray into the world of football forums, I hope you can forgive me, and/or perhaps but me forward for a job at the Guardian's sports desk ... wouldn't mind going in the pod with James Riachardson, or failing that, having a chat with Lord Hillsborough and the chaps over at The Wednesday Week ...

Let's get behind the club, their current manager and raggle taggle squad if you're a fan, and if you're a romantic you know you want to see one of the oldest, most famous and most titilatingly titled English clubs out there back up in the Premier League ... where they belong.

I'm even appropriately dressed for the occasion sat, as I am, on my Sheffield Wednesday bean bag ...

Matt Henshaw featured on The Leicester Music Podcast ...

Already the most listened to Leicester Music Podcast with the BBC's John Sinclair and featuring your very own new guy in town Matt Henshaw. I come in around 1 hour and 10 minutes into the show. You can hear my tunes and a little interview I did at the O2 Academy with John. It's all about being warm and foxy. Very Nice. Doing loads of press at the minute and I'll post all the bits to this 'ere blog when they become available online ... recently done a Hermitage FM live session featuring a new song 'No Matter How', a Trent Sound session for Jason Loftus on his Nottingham Lace show playing 5 songs and a special version of one of my old favourites, an interview with the Leicester Music Page and and interview for The Ripple magazine.

Keep listening folks, stay cool and remain positive ...

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Play The Game - Matt Henshaw (newsletter)

So, this is what we're doing.  Playing the game.  Whilst I'm slowly coming to terms with being a solo singer-songwriter and looking out for means of keeping those skills of singing and songwriting in employment I'll be slowly dripping out some of my recordings ... so far It Ain't Easy and My Life have surfaced.  And here's a third instalment ... 
Play The Game
About coming of age in Nottingham city and a reflection on how great cities transition from pastoral historic medieval towns to the great globalised Americanised urban metropolitan cities, that by hook or by crook, they're now becoming around the world.

Nevermind anyway, eh?  It's just a ride.  I like this format, not giving too much away, letting the songs do the singing ... but it you are hungry for imagery here's me performing at The Curve Theatre in Leicester ... and you can always find me on facebook and/or instagram ...

Matt Henshaw @ The Curve Theatre, Leicester
Peace, Love & Understanding, Matt Henshaw x

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Matt Henshaw @ The Oxjam Leicester Takeover 2013 ...

Afternoon Tea to all,

Yesterday I played three sets in total at three wonderful venues for Oxjam 2013 ... met loads of great people, made plenty of new friends and caught up with some old ones as well. Spending a day doing what Sundays are for ... home-made banana bread, apple crumble, carrot and coriander soup and a nice hearty garlic & celery broth ! The compost is absolutely buzzing !!

Here's me at the start of the day at The Curve Theatre in Leicester ...

Here's what I played:-

Your Eyes Are Made Of Gold
Always In The Way
Not In Nottingham
Play The Game
My Life
It Ain't Easy

And here's me at Hansom Hall, beautiful yet underused venue in Leicester city ...

And here's what I played there:-

It Ain't Easy
It's A Wonderful Night
Always in the Way
Stop Me Girl
Me & You
You Send Me

An absolute pleasure it was to hear my voice ringing out singing Sam Cooke ie. The Greatest's first smash hit in Leicester own mini Royal Albert Hall. Made me think about the future and what is and what could be. My dreams as a teenage were always to sing in the Albert Hall and the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool ... help me out, help me get there.

And then I played a pretty impromptu set at The Basement, top place, and some top blues bands on later on ... I was playing away from the guitar and sat a piano and jammed through a few songs ...

Stop Me Girl
That's Life

Yeah, that's right, in true lounge piano stylee I played a bit of Frank Sinatra for the locals, they loved it. They wanted more anyways, I was only supposed to play two, and whilst my piano skills are little lacking, plonking and pedestrian to say the least, I was asked to do one more. Good times all in all and all the great acts I managed to see I fancy doing a blog on each, so I'll be bring back 'Matt Henshaw Recommends ...' ASAP.

Peace, Love & Tea,
Matt Henshaw.

Friday, 18 October 2013

How To Compost - Henshaw's Horticultural Blog

Keeping you in tune with my gardening, I've just done a bit of weeding, tended to my patch and relocated my Christmas tree ... but what I'm really excited about ... is my compost bin ! (maybe a misappropriation of the word 'excited' there, but it is nice!)

This is my colourful compost. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I believe composting is the first step in saving human kind. I'm no dystopian, I don't think it'll get as bad as all that, but we'd like to keep this place nice, right? Making compost is the ultimate in recycling. You take a bunch of stuff you normally would throw away – eggshells, carrot scraping, yellowed lettuce leaves–throw them in a pile with some dried leaves, leave it all there for a while, and voila! Rich, brown compost! And while making compost won’t exactly save the world, if all of us in the cities, suburbs and estates made compost and used it instead of the petrochemicals, fertilisers, slug repelants, pesticides, insecticides and the rest of it that we pour on to our lawns and gardens today, our environment would be cleaner and safer for us and our children.

Composting helps the ecology, improving soil quality, improving drainage, aiding the growth of plants and hence improving the air quality. Composting has financial benefits too, and economical, saves you buying it in plastic bags, saves buying expensive mulch and transporting such things around the country. We can all have an abundance of great soil in our back yards, balcony or grounds. And we all know that growing your own produce is good for your wallet. The educational benefits are there too, every school, group or community around the country should have a compost heap. Learn responsibilty for your waste, reduce waste, learn about the circle of life, where your food goes and where your food comes from.

This may seems like just ranting, but that's just the kind of beat poet rambling gardener that I am, just taking a break from cleaning out the shed, having some lunch and a cup of tea and filling you in, so let's make a more succinct list, if you're anything like my brother, I know you'll love a list ... here's what to compost and what not to compost, in a Smash Hits style What's Hot and What's Not, or a Vice Magazine Dos and Don'ts ...

Compost ingredients

'Greens' or nitrogen rich ingredients:-
Grass cuttings
Urine (diluted with water 20:1)
Comfrey leaves
Grass cuttings
Raw vegetable peelings from your kitchen
Tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds
Young green weed growth (avoid weeds with seeds)
Soft green prunings
Animal manure from herbivores eg. cows and horses
Poultry manure and bedding

'Browns' or carbon rich ingredients ie. slow to rot:-
Torn up newspaper and junk mail make good dry material
Cardboard eg. cereal packets and egg boxes
Waste paper and junk mail, including shredded confidential waste
Cardboard tubes
Newspapers & magazines (although it is better for the environment to pass them on to your local doctors or dentists' surgery or send them for recycling
Bedding from vegetarian pets eg. rabbits, guinea pigs (hay, straw, shredded paper, wood shavings)
Tough hedge clippings
Woody prunings
Old bedding plants
Wood shavings
Fallen leaves

Other compostable items:-
Wood ash, in moderation
Hair, nail clippings
Egg shells (crushed)
Natural fibres eg. 100% wool or cotton

Do NOT compost
Cooked food
Coal & coke ash
Cat litter
Dog faeces
Disposable nappies

The key to getting great compost is to ensure that you get the right mix! You want to try and get a 50/50 mix of ‘Green’ wastes such as fruit and vegetable peelings and garden clippings and ‘Brown’ wastes such as newspaper, shredded paper or cardboard. Getting this mix right will help your compost to aerate and break down quicker.

However, there are some things you should never add to your compost bin including; meat, cooked vegetables, dairy products, dog faeces or cat litter, nappies, diseased plants or perennial weeds.

Love, Mud & Decomposition,
Matt Henshaw.

PS. National Composting Awareness Week falls in the second week in May ... one for your diary !

With thanks to Leicester City Council, Recycle Now, Sustainable Man, The Zeitgeist Movement UK, GardenOrganic, and Composting Will Save The World ...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

My Life - Matt Henshaw

Alright there?!

October 2013, where does the time go?

Now seems like an appropriate time to look back on a highly creative year, let you know what I'm up to now and hopefully where I'm going next.  I've released an album, started a whole new band and finally bitten the bullet and gone out as a proper solo artist, no-one to blame but myself from this point onwards, eh?

First off, Matt Henshaw and the Rhythm'n'Gospel Cavalcade is coming together nicely, I've written hundreds of songs and carving out a nice little setlist or two to play here, there and wherever you want me.  Get in touch, sort me out with some food, drink and petrol money and I'm yours.  My initial releases have been warmly received, a few thousands views on YouTube with no real promotion is nothing to be sniffed at I don't think ...
It Ain't Easy / My Life

There's an ever growing number of you on the mailing list, so for that I am thankful, and numbers on facebook, twitter and, now, instagram keep going up so I must be doing something right, right?  I'm also blogging fairly frequently and I might start adding to my YouTube channel a little more often, just little treats, we'll see.

Currently in the midst of doing a bunch of radio sessions interviews and podcasts in the East Midlands, some nice shows in my adopted hometown of Leicester, it seems they've taken to me and adopted me, just lovely.  In all honesty, I don't really know what I'm doing, I've never been a solo artist before, and contemplating my next move without any kind of collaborator is  little daunting, I'm sure i'll figure it out and I hope you'll stick with me.  I guess the message is, stay tuned and see where we go from here, it's going to be exciting !

Matt Henshaw Singer-Songwriter

B-Boy Soul
The second episode from myself and ReggiiMental came earlier this year.  Coming Around is availablefor download from all your favourite outlets, physical copies are long gone.  Jimmy B-Boy is now concentrating on working with the youths of Derbyshire for his MPR Derby project and it may be some time before the next slice of B-Boy Soul comes your way, hopefully not another 3 years, and hopefully the time in between is fruitful and creative !

Satsuma Elephants
Started out as just me and my best mate jamming in his garage and we've done festivals, been on the radio and packed rooms out, demand for the Elephants; or the Satsumas, however has far exceeded the supply.  I wish I could be a Satsuma Elephants; or my personal preferences, a Suma, everyday but right now we're on holiday, looking to hit the studio sometime soon to mix and master the batch of songs we have, and hopefully we'll be with you to provide your much needed dose of Vitamin C sometime soon.

So, in summary ...
Who knows where?  Who knows when??  But, someday soon we'll meet again.

For sure, we'll meet again,
Spread The Love !
Matt Henshaw

PS.  be sure you've 'Liked' me on facebook, 'follow' me on twitter and instagram, subscribe to the blog and the YouTube channel and you can't go wrong.  Updates as they happen, and you'll make me happy, that's all I really want to be.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Planting in your Autumn/Winter Garden & Vegetable Patch - Henshaw's Horticultural Blog

Here in the East Midlands it's been raining heavily for the last couple of days, I haven't had much chance to get out and do anything too productive in the garden besides tending to my compost heap, keeping my greenhouse happy and getting some seedlings going on the windowsill. But now is a perfect opportunity to tell you about what I've put in the ground outside.

Growing Winter Garlic
The main "crop" I've got on the go this winter is garlic. Take each clove of a garlic bulb, which will in turn become a new bulb, and place them around 2cm deep (so not very) in well and deeply dug over soil clear of weeds, stones and general rubbish. The area should be well-drained but the bulbs need plenty of water and need to be packed into the soil so they can absorb moisture and expand. I'll keep you up-to-date on growing winter garlic, if you do go for it though, take plenty of care of the patch, regularly weeding and hoeing in between, to encourage drainage and absorbing of moisture, when the bulb start to show the plant you might have to encourage the top opening up gently, and look out for flowers that need to be snipped and take nutrients away from the bulb. The more you care for your cloves / bulbs the better and more flavour-some your garlic should taster. But garlic does grow wild so you can sow your cloves and chance it, but chances are you'll end up with a sour soggy little bulb, not the best addition to your home-made loaf.

Growing Potatoes
A simple addition to your winter garden and happy little plants all year round are potatoes, just stick sprouting potatoes that have been neglected in the cupboard for a while. A few things to avoid, make sure the potatoes are not turning green, it's a minute possibility, and you'd be very unlucky but the chlorophyll that forms in potatoes could be poisonous, don't let it kill you, just thought I'd say but it's seriously not a big worry! A few words of advice, avoid supermarket potatoes, or anything packaged in plastic (should be a general rule of thumb anyway), you don't want your crop affected by chemicals or bleach that they use to make your potatoes supermarket fresh, or at least aesthetically pleasing for the shortsighted. The best place to go is farmer's markets, your local market or a friend with a potato patch. Support Local Produce!! Again, they love the water, love the moisture, don't need much attention aside from clearing pesky weeds stealing their nutrience, although potatoes are pretty hardy, you should find yourself harvesting some broth filling in no time at all. And again, chop off the flowers ...

Flowers? Tulip bulbs for spring!
Withthe weather it might look ad feel a bit drab outside at the minute but just wait, a little preparation and you might have a wonderful array of colour come spring. Now's the time to get your bulbs in to germinate and gain nutrience over the winter. Care for your bulbs, whether tulip or daffodil, I have a preference for tulips is essential, before you plant them, make sure they're kept in a dry, warm area, you wouldn't want them trying to grow in your kitchen cupboard would you.

Also, I've got the kitchen windowsill and greenhouse as an extension of my patch, I'll tell you about them next time ... ooh, and my multi-coloured heathers.

And for now, keep listening, just done a little facebook update, doing loads of radio sessions and acoustic shows, it's all good, going to add more videos to my youtube page soon, including some teasers of new stuff and general japes, also, been recording some of my favourite little oldies on my new toy / iPhone, debating whether I should share them will the general public, and as readers of my blog, hence, biggest admirers I'll let you decide ... first though, My Life needs more views, I've only earned a few quid from YouTube so far ...

Matt Henshaw Gardening
Henshaw's Horticultural Blog
My Life / It Ain't Easy
Bye For Now x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

In the Garden with Matt Henshaw - Henshaw's Horticultural Blog

It's been a long week. I've been threatening to write more blogs so here we go again, up the hill and around the bend. This week I've been writing - polishing up two new numbers for playing out loud live, one quiet moment for putting kittens to sleep and another one for my imaginary film soundtrack - and I've played a brand new song 'No Matter How' in a live radio session for 99.2 Hermitage FM that went out on Saturday night, to be repeated again on Tuesday night at 10pm. I've done an interview with John Sinclair of BBC Radio Leicester for the Leicester New Music podcast and lined up live sessions for Trent Sound in Nottingham plus Takeover FM Radio in Leicester. So what have I been doing in between ... gardening of course!

Preparing Your Winter Vegetable Patch

So, moving into a new house you've got to put in some elbow grease to prepare what few things you can plant in the early weeks of October. I arrived at a yard covered in weeds, waist high, and soil filled with big stones, hefty tree stumps, roots beyond roots, and, sadly, loads of broken glass. With a fork, a wheelie bin, new compost bin and a knife to get in the crannies of the old uneven slab work, pesky weed roots ! This picture may not seem too impressive - red wellies aside, which are obviously impressive - but that soil is looking immense considering it's starting position, I wish I'd taken a 'before' picture!

Make sure your soil is well dug over, remove all debris, save greenery, chopped weeds and little roots for the compost, but unfortunately some roots and tree stumps might be too large for the compost and might have to go in the bin; or you could save them for a fire in the future, leave to try and enjoy at a later date ! In terms of "saving the planet"; or, furthermore, the conditions for human life on this sphere we call earth, I truly believe that getting deep down and dirty and back to gardening, urban, rural, small or large scale, or otherwise, is the first step and the way to go for almost everyone. Composting is the simplest thing you can do. I'll expand on this theory at a later stage, and I'll give you some more hints, tips, journal entries and general garden fettering in the future. Hope you'll stick with me on Henshaw's Horticultural Blog, what have I planted? Seedlings?? Forking good times???

And, most importantly, stay cool, and keep listening ...

Peace & Green,
Matt Henshaw x

Friday, 11 October 2013

Matt Henshaw on instagram !

Good Day,

Rainy day here in the East Midlands. And as I feel like my blog is my much neglected favourite child I'm going to start writing more, that is my Autumn promise to myself. I'm a fan of the extended written word and the epistolary exchange, my last blog mentioned my success in growing my mailing list, facebook and twitter following, and my considering joining instagram, well I have, but snapshots and 140 characters just don't satisfy my need to mass communication. So here we go ...

I have joined instagram ... here's my first picture ...

An artistic assembly of torn beer mats by me, live from the Cookie Jar, Leicester. Don't worry though, the beer mats were already torn and on table I found myself sitting with a moment to spare ... I'm not one of these sexual frustrated people who go around tearing up beer mats and ripping the labels off their bottles !

In the meantime since the last blog I have been plotting and planning and writing and thinking. I played a radio session at Hermitage FM this week which will go out on Saturday night and be repeated again in the week. I played a brand new song entitled 'No Matter How' that is me embracing my new hobbies, life of living with being me and coming to terms with how I am. Sure you'll hear it live at some point or maybe on a grainy youtube video.

My plan is to write more blogs, keep it interesting, let you in on my new hobbies, or things I have always done but don't mind sharing, it's 2013 afterall, and I'm on facebook, instagram and twitter ! And I'm slowly but surely adding to The Matt Henshaw Archive, essentially a place for backing up all my things, just in case technology lets me down, as it almost always does !!

Goodbye for now, stay tuned, stay beautiful, and don't forget to keep listening to my stuff,
Matt Henshaw
Matthew Henshaw
Satsuma Elephant

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Join Team Matt Henshaw !

Around 1200 of you Like me on facebook, over two and a half thousand on twitter, and I'm pleased to have a good few thousand on my mailing list ... debating whether to join instagram or not?? Should I??? Does everyone want to see pictures of my cats? Mugs of tea?? And general japes around towns and cities in the UK???

Let me know x