Matt Pearce & The Mutiny + Trident Waters
Thursday 26th September 2019
Thunder may have been playing in Islington’s Garage’s basement club downstairs, but there was lightning upstairs at the Grace, in the form of Matt Pearce and the Mutiny.
Pearce who previously played and toured with the Hard Rockers Voodoo Six (Glasgow head-bangers) has decided to branch out with his own group and what is most surprising is how Funk-laden their sound is. Whether by design or destiny this quartet have taken on the mantle of cheering us up in these over-political times, retaining a heavy underfelt which revealed Steely Dan and Average White Band influences and fitted in perfectly with the Glitterball graveyard of Grace. His guitar playing is superb and probably informed his to decision to front his own band. The playing demands to take centre-stage and he certainly has the chops when it comes to fluid intricate fingering to slide guitar, you name it this guy can do it with panache. His vocals are clean and complementary and imbues the sound with a molten quality; there is no harshness or grit here.
Wisely the support vocalist Daliah Sheerington dials her voice down and harmonised beautifully when she could easily have over-powered the arrangements and he even employed a saxophonist to ensure the edge is taken of any heavy playing. The opening number 'Scarecrowing' was a thick groove which energised the crowd and had them head nodding in-beat. 'Like a hammer' and the organ-enhanced 'Gotta Get home' with slide-guitar - the title of the album that this set draws on - were slices of pure Louisiana Swamp Funk. However, it is the bitter-sweet 'Set me Free' that has the makings of a classic and utilised the band to its maximum - gaining appreciative applause from the audience at its conclusion. The pace went up and notch towards the end of the set and the drummer started to show what he was made of.
From where we stand now the Seventies is often viewed as the dank poorly clothed death mask of a de-Industrialising Britain. With Glitter-tinted spectacles though the heavy grooves of such as Zeppelin cheered up many a three-day week. So support for the evening was supplied by Trident Waters, who had managed to perfectly distil the 70's Hard Rock sound of Free, and their lead singer/guitarist entertained the front-row with acrobatic displays of guitar playing behind his head. He mentioned to the crowd the band had just recently returned from California, and by all accounts, they definitely brought back the sunshine rays with them.
Ivan De Mello