When Matt takes the stage as Northcote, there is no backing band, drummer or bass player. Northcote live is just one man, an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. Don't get me wrong, he's a big woodcutter of a man, but he has to be to carry the wealth of soul his voice and from the very first chord, he carries it well. The latest, self titled album, gets a good airing and Matt thunders through his set, voice booming, guitar struck and harmonica blown. Northcote's songs stand out in this way, but you wouldn't class it as acoustic. Highlight is the first song from latest album 'How Can You Turn Around' which is well received by the audience.
It's probably just as much of a surprise that Dave Hause takes his turn on stage in much the same style as Northcote. One man, at times an angry man, and an electric guitar, which he swaps for the occasional piano, both played with a lot of confidence.
Both men have a trace of Springsteen in their respective gravel tones and work their way through the American and Canadian songbooks they have to offer. 'Damascus', the opening song from latest album Devour, opens up the set, with 'Autism Vaccine Blues' probably just being the winner by a nose.
Any latecomers were still in for a treat as Matt returned to the stage to perform a couple of duets towards the end of the set. Their voices and guitars fitting together well and leaving the audience chanting for more, playing a couple of each others songs, including 'Prague (Revive Me)' and a couple of Northcote’s songs (The Bridge and Worry), ending with 'Benedition’.
A gig to cherish.
Setlist: Damascus / Heavy Heart /Autism Vaccine Blues / Great Depression (Piano) / We Could Be Kings / Melanin /Time Will Tell / Same Disease / Father’s Son (Jane/Trusty Chords Medly) / Resolutions //Before / C’mon Kid / The Shine
Encore (Northcote): Prague (Revive Me) / The Bridge /Worry / Benediction