Back before the good old days of a lockdown meant closing the bar doors until all the Whisky has been drunk dry, one of the most recognisable singer performing around Warrington was none other than Matt McClure.
Anyone who has had the pleasure, like myself, to see Matt perform live will know exactly how talented he is as a performer. The raw and raspy voice that comes out of Matt is so unique and you can FEEL the passion ooze out of him ever so smoothly.
So, today I am here to find out exactly where Matt found his inspirations that have kick started his career as one of the utter most talented musicians I know. He is very well known for his guitar playing skills as well as pulling out that good old faithful harmonica and giving his audience such a powerful performance each time whether this be at an open mic night or his own gig, you know you are always in for a treat when Matt shows up!
So, Matt exactly how old were you, what grasped your attention, when you decided that music was something you wanted to invest your life in Who/what has encouraged you to follow the path you’ve chosen?
“I think my first real memory of knowing I loved music was being 6 years old and sitting in front of my dads stereo playing ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ on repeat for days on end. But I think the interest of music was always there from my parents. There was always something being played.”
The first instrument Matt was very drawn to, was none other than a 1970’s Woolworths catalogue Telecaster copy. He was always happy strumming on it at his grandmother’s, even if back then he didn’t know what he was doing singing Neil Diamond songs, I’m glad he struck to it as he sure does impress when up on the stage now! Matt’s inspiration was his parents, who always ensured that Matt and his sister experienced as many shows as they could from such a young age.
Although Matt is known for his guitar, he actually learned a very different instrument to begin with. “My first instrument I actually learned was the Saxophone. But I’ve always been lazy and so lugging around a tenor sax to and from school was more than I could ever bring myself to do. The lessons didn’t last too long.”
Over the years of performing, Matt is very thankful for where he is now as performing became his therapist sofa. It helped him release all of the emotions like anger and heartache, turned those feelings into songs, and then found out how to express raw emotion in his songs, whilst also
realising all that negative energy out using his voice and the strums of his guitar.
Being able to get everything out which a lot of people carry around with them, day in and out is crazy immense, so by finding a way to make those feeling go away, Matt wowed everyone with his music from as early
as playing in Rhode Island coffee house on a Thursday!
This was for something Rhode Island Coffee would put on every Thursday for children. So Matt decided to take the plunge and perform. This is where he started his adventure into the music industry. He was so nervous for this, he said his legs began to shake, and it made him look as though he was attempting to impersonate the King himself, Elvis Presley – safe to say he ended up getting a chair for the next two songs! But thankfully he carried on and make the music he makes today!
Unfortunately due to a global crisis known as COVID-19 seems to have the world and its multiple industries opening and closing constantly. This is a very difficult time for the music industry itself, as not only are musicians are lost looking for work, but also the venues that hold these musicians are being forced to close, bringing only sadness upon what will happen for the future, especially with Boris in charge… But let’s not talk politics, lets see what Matt thinks: “I don’t think it is being treated. I think it has been cast aside and forgotten. Hopefully not permanently but the amount of amazing venues that have closed, technicians having to re train, people up and down the scale moving industry just to pay their rent and feed their families. It may never look the same again. It looks pretty bleak at the moment. The actual music industry (local bands, small venues, independent labels) will always be there – hopefully the people in now can remain.
But music is built in us. It’s always been there. It always will be. It must be.”
Pretty good way with words above! I agree with Matt, as long as people keep pushing and fighting, and always keeping that passion for music or to play suicidal, It will always be there. This is why now more than EVER supporting your local artists, venues or even sharing people’s music is a
must, every little helps they say!
Curious as to more about Matt, I asked him if he ever thought he’d be up playing gigs in front of crowds, and his plans for the future, and honestly this man gave me such a humble answer. “I never thought anyone would even consider paying me to sing. Still unsure why people do. My neighbours hear me singing constantly. They don’t have to pay… Honestly, I work a normal job and gig when I can. If I can continue to do that until I die, I will be as successful a musician as I could have ever dreamt of. If anything more happens, I may be living an actual dream.”
Matt gave me a little insight into what song is his favourite to cover, and why… “It’s an old folk song called ‘Rock Salt and Nails’ my favourite version is by Willie Watson. It’s just so sad and forlorn and then at the end just when you’re ready to go hug whoever’s singing and tell them it will be alright, it comes around with a great middle finger of a line. Well worth checking out.”
Hmm, anyone gonna give it a listen and see what the middle finger of a line is? I already have and it will not disappoint!
If anyone is itching for more of Matt, he’s actually just started playing in a band called Amateur Radio, and as soon as the world is safe to live again, he’s sure gonna find a bar to make some noise in: I will definitely be there for this!
Anyway, it has been an absolute pleasure to have had the opportunity to write this about such a good person! Go show him some love on instagram @matthew_mcclure_ . He’s also quite a good photographer as well as musician!
- Kayleigh Griffiths