Thursday, 26 December 2013

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... The Bobcats

Seeing as we're having a bluesy Christmastime my next recommendation is for the blues explosion that is The Bobcats. Rural raucous country blues is the order of the day, rumbling toms, rolling basslines and crunchy licks seems to be the soup du jour.

Rocking behind the drum kit it Boppa, real name unknown, even to the other members of the band, who looks like he'd be at home in an al night rave at a petrol station as he does effortlessly knocking out solid loops of rhythmic fury, and Dan Fraser-Betts plays the bass like a nimble and dexterous jazz musician who's somehow stumbled into a blues band, and probably feels kind of how Jack Bruce must have done playing with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton in Cream. A very solid and talented rhythm section indeed.

Frontman Stu Crown I had had the pleasure of seeing acoustically a couple of times before I saw the Bobcats and whilst his howling blues and seeming attempts to saw the guitar in half with his hand whilst playing was a pleasure to witness and behold, it didn't prepare me for how much I would enjoy watching the full electric blast of The Bobcats.

Stu, with a wealth of knowledge in blues music and a voice that had me believing he was many years my senior I was further shocked to learn he was two years my junior at a subsequent meeting ! A tale of alcohol and drug abuse there for you kids from myself and Stu, you might get a nice unique voice but you'll probably look as dishevelled and hairy as we do in our mid-twenties (and that's a joke before anyone starts suggesting that I'm recommending drugs and alcohol to improve your vocal skills, tone and resonance, because that is simply not true ... listen to Liam Gallagher circa 1994, 2004 then next year in 2014 for a reference on that theorem).

It seems fitting that I'm writing this with some home-made bread, tomato soup, peppermint tea, a fruit smoothie featuring apples, melon, pineapple, oranges and unpeeled kiwis - so much nutrition in the skin of those little hairy bad boys - that Mr Crown and I have had many a discussion on all things rural, rustic and pastoral, a keen craftsman and ardent follower of the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra I feel as though I've found somewhat of a musical kindred spirit, excellent stuff, and it always helps when someone like The Beatles too ... personally I'm feasting on the hearty blues and full of soul sound of The Bobcats and I hope you will too.

And now because I'm not one for scouring links and putting other people's tunes up on my blog here's my heaviest bit of blues rockin' for you all this Boxing Day ... you've all got Google, do it for yourself ... you won't be disappointed ...

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Tippy The Cat ...

With his growing fanbase on Facebook and Twitter, in recent interview I was asked how I would if my cat became more famous than me?? Well, I said I wouldn't mind, and of course I wouldn't, he's great, funny, cute, pretty much like Ryan Gosling if he didn't have such an ugly little face, I Love Him !

If you love him too then go like and follow him ... then I might share my short stories with you ... right now, he's currently plotting to pull down the Christmas tree !

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... Savanna Bones

Sorry I've been overdue a recommendation for a little short while now, so here' we go with some noisy rockin' cataclysmic dirty blues - Savanna Bones. These top chaps invited me to play at their hometown show and blew me away, live and on the cooly stamed brown card CDs they give out, for nothing, and there's some top notch stuff on their.

When people generally encounter two piece blues they tend to opt for the lazy journalist comparisons of The White Stripes and The Black Keys, and yes, whilst they are often relevant touching stones, there's a whole lot more going on here. Elements of lots of modern rock bands go into the pot, I hear elements of recent Arctic Monkeys, a little 22-20s, occasional bits of The Hives and The Dead 60s, and there's a lot of proper fuzzy old blues influence in their too.

Adam Paddy on guitar drinks from the same poisoned chalice as Disraeli Gears era Eric Clapton, whilst Robbie pounds the drums like John Bonham, with a loud full fat soaring ride cymbal and stomping bass, whilst all the time searching for lyrical plateaus left on a Wildean cutting room floor.

Personal highlight from their set was the unyet recorded Crooked Little Beast, it's a corker but hopefully they'll get some more of their other tunes online soon, tales of psychopaths, serial killers, fire, light, loudness and darkness, it's all in there, it's all good and it's all Savanna Bones. Catch them live when they get themselves together for a showdown, it'll stay yer !

Blues & Soul,

PS. here's one of my bluesy rockin' efforts you all should know ...

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Matt Henshaw (newsletter)

Good morning, Good evening and Good afternoon !

Well, I've had a busy few months, I hope you have too, working on things to better yourself and the world around you, mostly all I have to offer is songs, but I'll keep working at it.  Taking a little break now for the festive season, here's to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all !  But first, a quick recap of what I've done, what I'm doing and what's in store for 2014 ...

Here's a video for you especially for Christmas ... In The Presence Of The Lord, Listen, Like, Share, Repeat ...

 ... and you can listen to an acoustic version over on my SoundCloud ... see you there !

I've stuck up a few tunes now for free and there's loads of radio sessions up on YouTube too, come join over 1000 subscribers to my channel today !  So pleased to see everything still growing nicely as we head into the new year.

Matt Henshaw's Adventures in Wonderland
My blog continues to grow and diversify too, I'm doing weekly recommendatios of some of my favourite musical things, giving you gardening updates and tips, exclusive video bits, lyrics, updates and more ... probably the best place for you to keep up with what I'm doing.  I'm sure as you can tell from my mailing list newsletters that I'm a fan of the lengthy epistolary exchange !

Matt Henshaw

Writing & Recording in 2014
Having a few weeks off my plan is to record some new stuff in the new year.  Having written many album's worth of songs I want to record everything to a standard that I am well and truly happy to put my name on.  Fingers crossed that everything works out in January and I get close to where I want to be sonicly.  Keep an eye on the FacebookBlog and Twitter for some new videos and pictures from my recent shoots coming soon.  And I wish you all a happy and prosperous one, stay cool, stay beautiful, and stay tuned !

Spread The Love !

Monday, 16 December 2013

MERRY ROCKIN' CHRISTMAS - In The Presence Of The Lord - Matt Henshaw

Here's a little song I wrote ...

Merry Christmas !

Matt Henshaw 'In The Presence Of The Lord'

Recorded, Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Tristan Ivemy.

Recorded at Miloco Islington, Metropolis and Battery Studios, London, England, United Kingdom.

Vocals, Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar & Lead Guitar by Matt Henshaw.
Backing Vocals by Christopher Owen.
Bass & Backing Vocals by Nathan Clarke.
Drums, Percussion & Backing Vocals by Chris Goring.
Horn Arrangements, Percussion & Backing Vocals by Tristan Ivemy.

Well, he don't want to stay here
Not another day here
Because just like me he can't stand the weather

We all know that planet earth is blue
And we all know that love is true
If only it could last forever

In The Presence Of The Lord
All you hold in your hands is all that you need
For the sake of your brothers and sisters you'd die for love
You would die for love

You want to go out and kiss the son
From the moment your life had begun
But first my children you must learn to kiss the sky

From the moment you walk through the door
It's the moment you had to be sure
That things they ain't never going to get any better

In The Presence Of The Lord
All you hold in your hands is all that you need
For the sake of your brothers and sisters you'd die for love
You would die for love

Om Om Om

In the passing of time
Well I've looked and I've but I still couldn't
Someone quite like you
Somebody who would die for love

In The Presence Of The Lord
All you hold in your hands is all that you need
For the sake of your brothers and sisters you'd die for love
You would die for love
In The Presence Of The Lord
All you hold in your hands is all that you need
For the sake of your brothers and sisters you'd die for love
You would die for love
You would die for love
You would die die for love
In The Presence Of The Lord
You'd die for love
In The Presence Of The Lord

Friday, 6 December 2013

FOOD MATTERS ... Stream & Watch for Free for 5 more days !

Top of the morning to you,

I've been planning on sharing a few things that I like, advocate or agree with on the world wide web for sometime, and now I think that it's time, with Food Matters .tv allowing you to stream their film in high quality for FREE ! Now's the time, go and educate yourselves a little, give it an hour, and you don't need some scrawny Scottish lady courtesy of Channel 4 to tell you that you are well and truly what you eat ...

Go to and watch the whole thing ... below is a trailer for the movie that'll tell you what it's all about ...

Food Matters Official Trailer from foodmatters on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for more Things I Like ... and more of Matt Henshaw's Horticultural Gardening Blog ...

Stay Cool & Keep Composting,
Matt Henshaw x

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... Mattayoux

Recommending again ... this week I'd like to draw your attention to my new favourite octet - Mattayoux. Quite a surprising and amazing little find, these guys and gals blew me away when I saw them a couple months back courtesy of one of my favourite little nights in Leicester, Charlotte Carpenter's Tea Party at The Cookie Jar in Leicester.

Front man Leo Stannard is blazing a trail as a solo artist but his college friends aid in creating a luscious landscape of free moving parts incorporating R&B, jazz, ambient, funk and electronic sounds that you can imagine resonating around any sized room. The sheer joy I encountered standing and listening to their noise hasn't been rivalled this year so far, and if any act wishes to better it they'd better be quick as 2013 is almost over.

Keyboard man, Matti Scott has garnered a place as one of my favourite musicians in the East Midlands, instantly turned on by his ability to play the organ like a young Booker T. Jones or Jimmy Smith, and then cementing his abilities in my mind programming sonic landscapes and switching between instruments with ease, and a modesty that is quite humbling. And if you've read my previous recommendations you'll know that I'm quite excited about another musician quite close to me with the moniker of Matt.

Another key factor is the presence of girls in the band, everyone knows the late great Lou Reed's theory openly adhered to by the likes of JArvis Cocker that any good band needs a bit of oestrogen, Irene and Isabel work in the strings and woodwind department, a huge compliment to the sound, and so refreshing to hear when seeing so many bands today relies on synthesized sounds, computers and/or effects to produce the noises you need to hear. Seeing and hearing Mattayoux is an absolute pleasure.

No discounting James, Phil and George are some of the nicest kids you might get the chance to meet, and Will may just sweet talk you enough to get you to go buy him a drink ! Just to re-iterate, an absolute pleasure, if you get the chance to go and catch, please do !

Peace, Love & Tea,
Matt Henshaw.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Anti-Tesco Activism, Protest Poetry & more ...


As some of you may or may not know, I'm a bit of an idealistic type who believes that an egalitarian socialist humanist paradise isn't too unfeasible an idea to contemplate for the not so distant future (note here from the get go that I am not a utopianist, there will always be problems in a society by nature or design, it's how we overcome those problem as a society and community that defines us and our future) so with that in mind I am taking a few more visible steps into activism, aside from being the armchair type, sharing the odd tweet, signing the odd petition and fervently reading and watching alternative media ... worry not, I believe in life and I believe in love and you'll still have plenty of music from me, and there's plenty more on the way, rest at ease, and for the most part that's all non-partisan, secular and some of it has been recently described by one (hopefully) solitary reviewer as "prosaic", which I don't mind, opinions make up the world and if my tunes are easily enjoying with a cup of tea, tea lights and you biscuit of choice then that makes me happy ...

Anyways, I believe that the biggest difference you can make is local, small changes, and a passion, a belief in local communities and people being able to make a better world for themselves ... if you're an ardent reader of my blog, I'd love to think you've taken a shine to composting and joined the millions of us green fingered types who believe compost will save the world. So, with this in mind I hope to do little bits to improve the places I've lived, worked, studied, played or all in some cases ll four, by focussing on projects, awareness, and just general niceness to get communities coming together, Ilkeston, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Sheffield, London and more, and hopefully I can make my small difference make a bigger impact, empowering others through empowering myself ... I know it's oft-quoted but Mahatma Gandhi wasn't messing around when he said "be the change you want to be in the world.

I've done a few community things in Notts and Derbyshire, and a few bits with the Universities in Leicester, but a truly community led local initiative I've been drawn to is the "Say No To Tesco" campaign that has sprouted up in the Clarendon Park area of Leicester. Residents have united in response to the motions that have started regarding turning an old beautiful building that was a Barclays Bank into a Tesco Express, that would be well into double figures for central Leicester and would further increase the area becoming bereft of local businesses, diverse culture and wonderful buildings. There are so many reasons why I support these people in their desire to stop Tesco implanting themselves on the wonderful Queens Road but I won't rant on too much further ... if anyone wishes to engage in conversation with me on the subject, please do, via twitter, email, facebook or however ...

In the meantime here's a bit of poetry my brother wrote ... he's an English graduate and a school teacher ... right on brother !

Every Little Hurts

You set your sights on our small shops
And they become your prey.
You ate our local butcher whole
When you appeared that day.
You rape our farmers year-by-year,
Or move your trade abroad.
You brainwash folk who think that you
Are all they can afford.
The peasants of this mining town
All come to you for food.
Some clod poles even worship you,
You brighten up their mood.
They travel in their cars to you
Polluting Britain’s air,
Whilst you bring goods from overseas,
Your trade is rarely fair.
For Costa Ricans picking fruit
Can work for two days straight.
Their fruit will keep your stomach full
So you can stay up late.
You steal cashews from India,
You leave their women scarred.
But still our sheep all flock to you,
Although your name’s been marred.
In Bangladesh your women work
For just five pence an hour,
They make the clothes you sell so cheap
Next to your eggs and flour.
With such a wide variety
Our small shops can’t compete;
With baker’s baking cakes all day
That no one wants to eat.
The milkman potters ‘round the streets
Delivering here and there,
But not enough to make ends meet,
And no one seems to care.
So every time their moth-like wings
Are heading t’wards your light,
Like zombies with a thirst for blood,
They help you win the fight.

© Daniel Henshaw

Clarendon Park is the last place you'd expect to find Occupy style grass roots activism but if people work together for something positive that you believe in, you can make a difference ... Spread The Love, MHx

Click the picture above for more information on the campaign ... Thanks !