Sunday, 17 November 2013

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... The Simpletones

Something a little different for you this time around. Vocal harmonies, doo-wop and barbershop. My kind of sound for an evening out. These 4 chaps could quite happily sit on any stage or feature with any act, the vocal dexterity and skill with which they twist and unfurl through any live performance is second to none. I saw them perform for the first time the other week in Leicester and let's just say my socks were knocked off, they flew right across the room. 4 genuinely talented vocalists, snappy dressers and, most importantly, nice guys, definitely good guys.

Absolutely solid in their barbershop foundation, with a knowledge and an ear for the history of the traditional singing style but The Simpletones easily adapt to soulful doo wop Drifters style or re-interpretations of pop hits, easy. As a matter of fact I'd love to hear them do one of mine. Lead Simpletone Simon is one of nicest blokes you're ever likely to meet, don't be put off by his intimidating stature, penchant for blue language and sometimes puerile humour, an honest and decent lover of his trade and a hardworking musician, engineer and school teacher, a credit to everyone who can call him a friend, hopefully now it's safe to say that I am one.

The two Nicks, Nick and Nik I believe, are the heart-throbs, one of each size, whichever you desire, and consummate professionals. Tenor and baritone respectively, the latter Nik provides some 21st century beatboxing occasionally along the way which is a perfect compliments, never too showy or overbearing, it's all about the vocals, but it does vary up a lengthy set, which all four sets of lungs can invariably carry.

And last but not least, Ian the beardy bass man, is a true gent of the highest order, I first met him at a party, stood next to him for a quick chat and to exchange of a few rude jokes before I desperately searched for a kettle. I had no idea he was a singer, or indeed so talented, just a witty filthy humoured bearded fella, let the cover not be thee judgement of thy book. Top fellas all round. I've also seen them make up songs on the spot, excellent stuff, especially when complimenting me on my style and dress sense, nice one Simon !

I was intending to head out to see them this evening switch on some Christmas lights in Leicester city but I've been home playing doctor for my ill girlfriend and sending positive energies to the fellas from my sofa. And hence thus and therefore writing a song for my friend Paul who is getting married next year and has asked me to play at his wedding, something along the lines of It Ain't Easy, but "with a more positive lyric", one can only try, and maybe get The Simpletones to do some doo-wop harmonies and a bass lines for me, how about it boys?

Hows about joining me for some soulful singing anytime boys ... here's me doing one of my own little ditties and a bit of Sam Cooke from The Soul Stirrers himself ...