Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Matt Henshaw's Adventures In Wonderland: DOWNLOAD THE 'PEACE, LOVE & TEA DEMONSTRATIONS' NO...


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Easier (Lyrics) - Matt Henshaw

Take me off to a place where I have never been before
Where I can see the mountain tops and watch the waves lap against the shore
Life is what you make of it, and then again just a little more
Help me have some feelings I have never had before

But it's so hard, it's getting harder
It's been hard for so long

And how I wish it was Easier
E-Easier, Easier, E-Easier, Easier
E-Easier for me ...

I want something to believe in I never thought I could
Give me someone to hold on to I never felt I should
I want someone to believe in, someone pure, someone good
Help me have feelings I never thought I would

But it's so hard, it's getting harder
It's been hard for so long

And how I wish it was Easier
E-Easier, Easier, E-Easier, Easier
E-Easier for me ...

We're all scrambling around chasing shadows in the dirt
Trying to find something or someone for what it's worth
For what it's worth ...

Well how I wish it was Easier
E-Easier, Easier, E-Easier, Easier
E-Easier for me ...

Well how I wish it was Easier
E-Easier, Easier, E-Easier, Easier
E-Easier for me ...

Well how I wish it was Easier
E-Easier, Easier, E-Easier, Easier
E-Easier for me ...

Matt Henshaw: “An Old Soul in a Young Body” Interview with Ilkeston FC Magazine September 2015 Music Football Life

Matt Henshaw: “An Old Soul in a Young Body”

As with most things in life, music has a life cycle and in the early to late 00’s, the underground music scene was most definitely at the top of it’s circle. Every town, no matter how small had music venues and more than enough bands to have gigs on just about every night of the week. In 2003 I hosted the first of my two Battle of the Bands competitions at what at the time was Ilkeston TOWN FC. Even without the help of the internet and social media, the club house just about filled it’s 250 capacity for all seven rounds.

As far back as I can remember, Ilkeston has produced some great bands, from the 80’s with Angel Heart, Headstrong, Weavers Ro to the 00’s with DiP, Isolysis, Patchwork Grace, Blindsight and many more. These bands all played at my monthly Big Zee’s Party 7 gig nights at the football club and never failed to pull big crowds. As well as the football club, two other Ilkeston promoters Adrian Ball and Lee McMahon, better known as Wolfman & It, were hosting weekly gigs at the Gallows in on a Thursday night, same bands, same crowd, same great nights and atmosphere.
Matt’s first musical project was in the early noughties with Censored, a band who’s sound was a hark back to the 60’s Mod era. They plied their trade mainly around the East Midlands with gigs in Derby, Nottingham and Leicester and in 2005 their hard work began to pay off when they were selected by Lee Jeans to play their stage at the Leeds and Reading Festivals and the following year they were again selected, this time by TopMan.

The band continued to tour throughout 2006/07, sharing the stage with Snow Patrol, Ocean Colour Scene and Supergrass to name a but few.
Despite making inroads into the music business, they decided to call time on Censored and played their final show at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms.
Matt takes up the story from there…..

“Before I started playing guitar, there was a Strongbow advert on tv at the time that used Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water, I didn’t know what the intro was but I knew that I wanted to make that noise, it was my dad who told me it was a guitar, that’s what got me into playing. It wasn’t until much later that I found out that it was an organ being played through a guitar amp, I wish I’d played the organ a little bit, be a bit like Booker T.”

“This was all in the mid nineties, so We were in the middle of Brit Pop and I got into Oasis, Blur and Paul Weller, they were the big three for me, they wore their influences on their sleeves, their albums between ninety four and ninety six were a reference book going all the way back to the sixties and the Beatles.”

It wasn’t until nineteen ninety seven that Matt started to have thoughts about forming his own band. His parents had Sky Sports installed so he could watch his beloved Sheffield Wednesday, but it would be the music channels that influenced him more than the football: “We started off at the top of the league, David Pleat was manager and we had Ritchie Humphries, he was terrible, but he managed to score plenty of goals. Along with the sport channels came music channels and one day I saw The Small Faces, I looked at Steve Marriott and I thought, wow I want to be in a band just like that, with a guitarist that sings, a bass player, a drummer and an organ player, but I never managed to find a really decent organist, when the first band Censored was formed, we did have one for a short period, but it didn’t really work out. Drummers always seem to be happy in their own little world, but when you’re a teenager generally people that play bass or keyboard are frustrated guitarists and frontmen.”

Censored was formed whilst still at school and to find four fifteen year olds all at the same school and all into music that was borne out of a sixties influence and not what was happening at that time, whilst not impossible, seemed unlikely: “The three of us who became Censored as people knew it were Chris Goring and Nathan Clarke, we were all into Brit pop stuff, but then when the late nineties came along a lot of people our age moved onto Nu Metal or R & B, so the three of us were the weirdos of the school with longer hair than the Hip Hop kids, but not as long as the Metal Heads, we wore suits for a while.

With not having an organist we were sounding more like The Jam or The Who and that wasn’t really who I wanted us to sound like, I wanted to emulate the Small Faces, right from seeing them for the first time, an old black and white recording of Itchy Coo park from a German tv show on VH1 I think it was, I was just blown away, It didn’t matter what the song was really, it was just the way he looked and how the band sounded.”
Within four or five months of Matt forming Censored, they had won four different Battle of the Band competitions in Ilkeston and Derby and Nottingham including Derbyshire Young band of the Year in Chesterfield. “They were such good confidence boosters, from there we went out and finished school, then got a record deal down in London and played some really big festivals, Leeds, Reading and the Isle of White

“The biggest achievement for us as Censored was just being three lads from Ilkeston who went out and did it and it was really just a whirlwind of a time, especially around 2007/08 when Chris Owens was in the band. Nathan had left by this time. When the record deal and touring came about he wasn’t as into it as me and Chris were, he was happy enough with the rehearsal and writing side of it, but going out touring wasn’t for him.
We were playing festivals and doing gigs with We Are Scientists, The Arctic Monkeys, The Klaxons and Supergrass. As well as playing these great gigs, we did play with 911 and Bobby Davro, they were weird gigs. They were student balls and the line up was us, 911, Supergrass and Chappers and Dave from Radio 1, I’m not sure about the Bobby Davro one.”

“At this time we should all really have been students ourselves, but instead we were gigging and drinking with Supergrass, it was mad. The whole thing is a bit of a blur really and apart from a box in my parents loft there’s not a lot of documentation of the time. It was just pre the internet going really massive with social media, there’s a couple of videos on youtube, but nothing in the way of internet released singles or albums, it was all cd’s and we shifted bucket loads of them. We had a website and were all over myspace, but when the band finished, we stopped paying for the website domain and myspace changed beyond all recognition so there’s not really much to show for that whole time. I still se Chris Goring as much as I can, when both of us aren’t busy and we’re both like “Pfft, what happened there? That was mental.” We’d turn up to gigs in places like Barrow in Furness in Cumbria and because myspace was such a big thing at the time, it seemed that all we had to do was book a gig, stick a poster on myspace and two hundred kids would turn up.”

As well as being in the band, the members of Censored started their own monthly night at the now empty Junktion7 in Nottingham, it was called club SOS and they would use their contacts from touring the to fill the bill with up and coming bands from all over the UK: “Those nights were great, we’d be getting nearly 200 people turn out every month, I still get people contacting me now to say how great those nights were.
Although Matt is now tea-total, his time in Censored was a different ball game. Being in a band, it’s easy to get caught up in the partying side of band life and when you’re out on the road touring and when so many fans are offering to buy you drinks, it’s easy to get carried away: “Part of it being a blur to us was alcohol, I always felt a bit terrible because if we didn’t have a tour driver or tour manager, we’d all just pile in Chris Goring’s Citroen Saxo and he’d do all of the driving because he was the only one of who could drive at that time. So me and Chris Owen would just get absolutely leathered and poor Chris Goring had to put up with us being drunk and him being sober. He did get involved in the antics of three twenty year olds in a band, just not the drinking, just stupid stuff like pulling up outside someone’s house and playing knock a door run, only it was knock a door drive away, there may also have been a few road signs liberated along the way, all just stupid innocent pranks that a lot of kids our age were getting up to.”

“I’d been drinking pretty heavily through 2008, it wasn’t uncommon for me to wind up in hospital at least once a month through alcohol related incidents. It was only on October 3rd 2008, which is my brother’s birthday and I was in a hospital bed, when I realised that I had to stop drinking, as it wasn’t doing my life any favours.”

“During that year there were three tours that for whatever reason, didn’t happen, one with the NME, one with The Rifles and one with The Enemy, so instead of me touring I found myself back in Ilkeston alone in the house whilst my parents were at work, I’d walk up to Bellini’s and get a bottle of gin and it was a horrible time. By that Autumn, we’d done three gigs when it should have been eighty, we played Manchester, Stoke and Oxford, I was just a mess at these three gigs. I later saw a picture of myself from Stoke and I was verging on the Pete Docherty(The Libertines) look, it wasn’t good at all. After those three gigs we had one more booked, it was to be a homecoming gig at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms and as a band, we all knew it was going to be the last one, but we didn’t tell anyone until afterwards that Censored was finished.”

“When I quit the band and moved away from music, I had a mass clear out of my contacts. I went from having over two thousand imaginary friends on social media to about twenty phone numbers of friends and it was such a cathartic thing to do. During the nine months after leaving the band, when I was at my grans doing her garden, I found a load of old gardening books that had been my step granddads and I really got into gardening and working with the soil, if the weather was too bad to be in the garden, I’d be inside reading and learning as much as I could, but that’s my addictive personality kicking in, once I get into something, I have to know all about it. When I finally stopped drinking alcohol I replaced it with tea and drank so much of it”

“After the final gig, I moved back in with my parents, the others got jobs and houses. I was just going round to my grans and doing her gardening for her, trying to work out what to do with my life. I finally went to collect my A Level results and it turned out that I’d done quite well and after three years of wanting to do anything but be a student I finally decided to apply to universities. At first I was applying to places as far away from here as possible, I even looked at going to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I really just wanted a complete change of scenery. I was accepted to Cambridge, but after going to look round it I didn’t like the place, it didn’t feel right for me. So after trying to get as afar away as possible, I ended up looking at Leicester University and really liked it there, it felt right. I think what clinched it was the newspaper clippings in the reception area of all of the bands that had played there in the 60’s, Rod Stewart, The Who, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones and I got to thinking that yeah, I could see myself here.”

When I went to University, I studied film, that came about because I’d been to a friend’s house and couldn’t sleep, so I put the Turner Classic Movie channel on and watched several Humphrie Bogart films one after another. The next day I got to thinking that I’d quite like to study film rather than English. The thinking behind it was, that if you study Film and you get stuck with a film you don’t like, it’s over in a couple of hours, but if it’s a book you really don’t like and can’t get on with, it could take a couple of months to read. Looking back now, it was more out of laziness that I ended up studying film, there’s only a hundred years or so of film, it’s not like English. I got totally immersed in Film, I got my degree, my masters and then I ended up working at film magazines for a while.”

Whilst all of this new life of University was happening and thoughts of music had pretty much left Matt’s head, a chance encounter with a new group of people would lead him back into music, but it would be as far removed from the music he was playing with Censored as you could possibly imagine: “I fell in with a crowd and ended up making some Hip-Hop records, then one of them got heard by an editor at NME, he had no idea of the history of who I was or my music background, but he heard this one record that we did, which was a real soulful kind of record with rappers on it and by some weird twist of fate, we ended up opening for Dizzy Rascal and Jesse J. We went on and made two albums and two EP’s, they got some press interest and we ended up playing small festivals, we did a small tour playing strange places though, places like RAF High Wycombe, it was just madness really. But by Christmas 2010, four out of the seven rappers I’d worked with were in prison, fraud and GBH were the main things they were convicted of.”

Now Matt is back doing the kind of music he knows best and he’s found that the advancement of social media since the days of myspace has been a good thing: “I don’t really share a lot of what I do, but I do have a good following on Twitter. Weirdly, one of the reasons has been because of Sheffield Wednesday. I’d signed up for an account and at the time Stephen Fry had a Norwich City badge as his profile picture, so as I was new to it, I figured that that was the thing to do, so I just bunged a Sheffield Wednesday badge on to a picture of me and the next thing I knew, I’d got a few thousand followers just from talking about football and Sheffield Wednesday, this was all before I got back into music, Twitter was just something that intrigued me at the time.”

Since signing up for Twitter and using it as a platform to spread the word of his music, Matt has made the conscious decision to only post positive thoughts, rather than just the everyday happenings of his life, which so many people seem to feel the need to do, his thought being that if you are a nice, positive person, people with gravitate towards you, but negativity will move people away. Why for instance, would the world need to know that you’ve just banged your knee on the oven door, or to know how far you’ve been on your latest training run, or what your dinner looks like. So he made the vow that he would only post if it was positive, or more importantly, necessary. And maybe this is why he now finds himself with over eleven and a half thousand followers.

He also founds it funny that he has come as far as he has with this incarnation of his music career without the help of a record label, agent or a PR person behind him, it’s all been done off his own back. He does have a publishing company who publish his songs, but they came to him after he’d written, recorded and released them as EP’s. As for distribution, he does it the old fashioned way, sitting at home and copying the songs from a master copy onto cd’s whilst watching a film. It was this return to the grass roots of music that got Matt to love playing music again and getting him back onto the music scene that he left behind when Censored split up. His youtube account has nearly four thousand subscribers and his latest video has had over twelve thousand views in less than two weeks, with most of his videos having views into five figures. He’s been in the top 30 on iTunes download chart, yet there are artists and bands out there who have an army of people behind them who are pushing on social media yet they struggle to get half of that amount. He won the Midlands Independent Music Award for Best Male Solo Artist and had to go to a radio interview in Birmingham, the winners of the other awards were there with him, but they had a whole different outlook to him: “They were all there with their cameras taking selfies for their Instagram pages and videos for Vine, and I just sat there baffled by it all, they were about to go out on the radio so they didn’t need to be doing all of that, not everything you do has to be shared with the world.”

Whilst he fully understands that social media is for, he is happy to get away for a while and leave it behind. He and his girlfriend will often get away to the countryside and away from all forms of communication and write songs, with around eighty per cent of his music being written in Snowdonia National Park on top of a hill and the last thing on his mind is to get out his phone and post pictures of himself and his guitar. His view is that you should write your songs, release them, then go out and play them and I find this approach refreshing. Back in the days before the internet, or even when the internet was in it’s infancy, the only way to fond out about a band you liked was to buy Kerrang, The NME, Melody Maker or even Smash Hits, bands were mysterious and this was what set them apart from the rest of us. Nowadays every aspect of a bands life is open to the fans: “The mystique of bands has gone nowadays and that’s a bit sad.”

Although Matt now is himself a singer/songwriter, he does think that there are too many of them around and that it’s becoming a bit boring: “I don’t listen to acoustic music myself, the reason I do it myself was out of necessity, I was living in Leicester, but didn’t have anyone to form a band with, so I just went out with my guitar and it just became a thing for me, like most other things it just sort of happened that I ended up on the road and making a living from it. I am now in the process of putting a band together, because of the last two years and the recognition that my name has got, but I don’t see it being my name on a poster. I’ll put the next single out as Matt Henshaw, the ones after that will be with a band, that’s where I want it to be.”

“I listen to bands myself, this morning it was Cream and Blind Faith. There’s not a lot of modern music that I’ve got into, but I’ve got into three bluesy rock bands, one called Sky Valley Mistress, they’re great, one from Derby called Eva Plays Dead, I really like them and then there’s Gem and the Deadheads. Because of the music I play, people don’t believe that I like heavier bands, they all just presume that I just listen to acoustic music, the amount of times I’ve been asked if I like or play any Ed Sheeran is madning. The first radio interview I did I was asked what I thought of him and because I had been living under a rock I hadn’t heard of him so couldn’t give an opinion, the presenter thought I was taking the mickey and being disrespectful to him, but I honestly didn’t know who he was, on my way in to the station I’d been listening to Ella Fitzgerald. So after the interview I went and looked into who he was and obviously he’s brilliant and smashes it at what he does, but it’s just not what I listen to. I still listen to a lot of 60’s music, but to try and pigeon hole what I listen to is impossible.”

Over ten years since Matt first started out in music with Censored, he says that he’s never really made any money from music, he earns enough to put petrol in his car and pay his bills and that this is enough for him to be happy, he isn’t materialistic, or after the biggest and newest gadgets, just being happy is enough.

Before setting out on his solo career he was working at Leicester University and his girlfriend knew he was going home miserable every night and during a night sitting out in their back garden, the conversation turned to Matt giving up his job and going into music full time. It took eight hard months to get his first paid gig, but they stuck it out and got through it and after eighteen months he was getting decently paid gigs. But this brings a side to music that he isn’t so keen on; The financial side of things, invoices, tax returns, but it all comes with the territory and despite this side of it, Matt wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

After all of his hard work to make it pay off in the UK, he now finds himself having sold his music to every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica, and he finds that amazing. It was through this that a promoter from Brehmen in Germany found him and offered to book thirty gigs for him, an offer which he was only too happy to accept. He kept it quiet for a long time, pretty much right up until he was playing the first gig. This comes from knowing that so many people in the music business promise the earth, but don’t always deliver and he didn’t want to look daft telling people about his big German tour, only for it all to fall through at the last minute. But whilst he was sitting on the news of the German tour, he was contacting people in France, Holland and Belgium and booking more shows himself to keep himself out on the road and taking his music to as many people as he could and in the end, he stayed out in Europe for five weeks, playing every single night and playing anywhere that would have him, theatres, a museum, a motorway service station, an ambulance station and even a refugee centre. He puts the playing at strange venues down to the fact that he is really bad at saying ‘No’. And he says of that time that it was the most mentally, spiritually and financially rewarding tour he’s done.

I’ve worked with bands from Germany and also English bands that have toured Germany. The thing that is always talked about, is how much better musicians are respected and looked after by the venues and promoters over there, with bands not only being paid, but being fed and kept in drinks for their time at each show. Whilst this does happen in the UK, it’s very few and far between, why this should be I don’t know, maybe more people go out to live shows over there, or venues just have bigger and better budgets than their UK counterparts.

One night from this tour would stand out in Matt’s memory. He played one night to two hundred students at Brehmen University and halfway through the first song, the P.A cut out, after a few seconds of wondering what to do, he just carried on playing and the whole room was silent whilst he played. During the performance, a hat was passed around the audience, it filled with money and was then placed at his feet as a thank you for keeping going, something he says that probably wouldn’t happen in this country. But he was quick to point out that it wasn’t the case everywhere.
Contrary to popular belief, life on the road isn’t one long party, there can be hours of mind numbing boredom which you have to fill and now he is tea total and touring on his own, his time on the road isn’t taken up by drunken pranks or annoying whoever happened to be driving, so he finds other ways to fill his time on the road. Now, instead of drinking the days away, he uses his passion of football to pass the time, by visiting stadiums of clubs that he’s never been to and taking in games as and when he can. One of his first games was watching German Bundesliga team Schalke play and being amazed at how little it cost him, saying that the price of a ticket, replica shirt, food and drink came to under €50, a price that would probably just buy a ticket into an English Premier League ground.

He also attributes the high cost of going to live shows in the UK to the down turn in crowd numbers at smaller shows. People these days tend to save their money and go to a four or five big shows a year, but with arena shows costing anything from £50 and above, you could go to ten gigs at one of your smaller local venues for the same price of one arena concert and help support the music industry from the bottom.

Matt now finds himself in a transition period as his solo career becomes a full band project and a whole new chapter is about to begin on his road through life:

“I want it to be the best it possibly can be, I want people to come to one of our shows and see a spectacle, not in explosions or anything like that, but a really tight and professional band. It’s going to be a lot harder this time round. Last year I was in six different countries and met so many incredible musicians and I’d love to be able to go “I want that drummer from Germany, that guitarist from Belgium” but the logistics of that would be a nightmare. I’m not as lucky as I was with Censored, all of us living within five minutes of each other, now I’ve got to work hard to find people I like and want to be around for six months at a time, but I’ll get there.”

To find out more about Matthew Henshaw go to his website www.matthenshaw.com

His new single “Easier” is out on September 10th.

Matt Henshaw Enjoying Chart Success Interview from the Leicester Mercury Newspaper

Original Article ...

Singer Matt Henshaw enjoying chart success as he plans his next big tour

By Tom_Mack  |  Posted: September 15, 2015

Matt Henshaw
 Comments (0)
Singer-songwriter Matt Henshaw has had the best week of his career after his latest single outsold Ed Sheeran's.
Easier shot to number 12 in the iTunes singer-songwriter chart, while also peaking high in the Amazon and Google download charts.
It was up there with songs by the likes of Hozier, George Ezra and Gabrielle Aplin, temporarily rising above Photograph by Ed Sheeran and earning Matt messages of congratulations from Universal Records and indie band Ocean Colour Scene.
Matt, of Clarendon Park, Leicester, said: "It's just really great to have my song that high in the charts - to see my name next to those numbers.
"It's been a really nice surprise and it's been an amazing week."

Matt has spent the past year touring with his acoustic guitar through the British Isles and Western Europe.
For his next tour he's planning something even bigger.
He said: "The tour has been really great and the fact that people are now buying my songs and parting with their hard-earned cash shows that I've connected with people along the way.
"It's been a brilliant tour and I've played in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
"I've done 300 shows in a year and it's been a lot of fun and a great adventure.
"For my next tour I'm having a backing band and we'll be performing as Matt Henshaw and the Peace, Love and Tea Band.
"So the single's success is a great start of the next year ahead of bigger shows."
Matt gave up his day job at the University of Leicester two years ago to become an independent artist on a shoestring budget, releasing music through his own label.
Earlier this year he won the Midlands Independent Music Award for Best Male Solo Singer/Songwriter and he said things were looking good for the future.
The video for Easier, which features Crufts champion dogs, Miss Leicestershire Holly Desai, and a VW campervan has gained more than 18,000 views online in just under a month.
Matt will be playing at The Cookie in High Street, Leicester, on October 3 and at the O2 Academy in University Road, Leicester, on December 18.
For more information visit www.MattHenshaw.com

Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Singer-Matt-Henshaw-enjoying-chart-success-plans/story-27801671-detail/story.html#ixzz3nykTETjz 
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Matt Henshaw Chart Success Article from the Hucknall Dispatch

Original Article ...

Chart breakthrough for Matt

editorial image

Ilkeston singer-songwriter Matt Henshaw has had a major breakthrough success with his single Easier charting at number 12 in the iTunes charts, fending off competition from the likes of Hozier, George Ezra and Gabrielle Aplin, and legends such as Tracy Chapman, Eva Cassidy and Simon & Garfunkel.

Yesterday (Thursday), he even outsold Ed Sheeran for a day.
Matt is an independent artist releasing music through his own label - Peace, Love & Tea Records - and won the Midlands Independent Music Award for Best Male Solo Singer/Songwriter earlier this year.
Operating on a shoestring budget, he has toured the country and did a stint over in Northern Europe in January and February, playing around 300 shows in a year demonstrating what talent, hard work and persistance can do, developing a loyal fanbase and crossing generational, genre and language barriers his music is proving ever more popular.
The video for the single - Easier - features Crufts Champion dogs, a beautiful VW campervan, Miss Leicestershire, Holly Desai, and future Olympic champion Northamptonshire and Team GB’s Lucy Hatton, and gained over 15,000 views in just under a month.
Matt’s music has caught the ear of BBC Introducing radio producers and DJs up and down the country, and 2016 looks like it could be shaping up to be a busy year.
He will be performing in the area this autumn. For more information of where you can see him and where you can download his single, or make a purchase from the Peace, Love & Tea Shop visit http://www.MattHenshaw.com

Nottingham Sound: Matt Henshaw interview with the Nottingham Post

Original Article ...

Nottingham Sound: Matt Henshaw

By NottmPostEG  |  Posted: April 14, 2015

Matt Henshaw

 Comments (0)
After nine months on the road, Matt Henshaw is back home this weekend with a show at Nottingham Contemporary. He tells Rachel Gorman about nagging a Sex Pistol...
Are you Nottingham born and bred?
Yeah and I love Nottingham, even more so since I've been touring all over the place. It's quite easy to become contemptuous about the place where you grew up when you've lived there for the first 20 years of your life, but then when you get out, for one reason or another, you realise how great it is. And you begin to understand why my the roots of my family tree are in Notts.
How long have you been doing this for?
18 months, since I plucked up the courage to go out to some open mics. I never imagined that, in such a relatively short space of time, I'd have records in charts, won awards or been over to Europe.
Describe your sound
I love soul music, and I try to emulate what I listen to the most, which is usually Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye's 60s stuff. Because of who I am and where I'm from it's always going to come out sounding more like the guys back in the day who were trying to do exactly the same thing, people like Steve Marriott, Stevie Winwood, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney, maybe even Rod Stewart on a husky day.
Who are your biggest music influences?
In terms of influencing my tastes and listening preferences, my musical coming of age came in the early/mid 90s. Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn and Paul Weller were so great to have around in the mainstream, as they wore their influences on their sleeves and they made them so obvious to trace. I went all the way back to that great English music heritage of the 60s and 70s, then beyond to so many great black American blues, jazz and soul singers and musicians. Love it or loathe it, it all started with BritPop for me.
Any claims to fame?
I asked a Sex Pistol to move over, as he was sitting on my jacket backstage at a London show. I don't care what band you were in, no one likes creases in their suit. He understood, cool chap.
What should we expect at one of your gigs?
Songs, and loads of 'em - proper songs. I'm not really on for pyrotechnics, not yet anyway, or dancing around like Morrissey, but I'd like to think I write songs that will stick with you, rattle around in your head, and hopefully you'll want to hear again plenty times more.
Any music for sale?
I released three EPs last year and they’re all available digitally or on CD and vinyl from my website (MattHenshaw.com) as well as T-shirts and other goodies.
Other Notts musicians/bands you rate?
I write a blog called 'Matt Henshaw Recommends...' and I've put some Notts acts on there like Georgie, Aja and Three Girl Rhumba to name a few. There are loads of others I've played with, but I'd love to do some shows with D.I.D and The Swiines soon enough.
Next gig?
At Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday, April 18 with some special guests. It’s a free homecoming party, having spent the last nine months touring all over the UK and Europe. I'm taking a bit of a break to record over the summer.
Anything else?
I’m currently recording my next single with a chap who did one of Frank Turner's records, and has done some stuff with the Magic Numbers and Peter Doherty.

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Matt Henshaw Chart Success Feature Article from the Ripley & Heanor News

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Chart breakthrough for Matt

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Ilkeston singer-songwriter Matt Henshaw has had a major breakthrough success with his single Easier charting at number 12 in the iTunes charts, fending off competition from the likes of Hozier, George Ezra and Gabrielle Aplin, and legends such as Tracy Chapman, Eva Cassidy and Simon & Garfunkel.

Yesterday (Thursday), he even outsold Ed Sheeran for a day.
Matt is an independent artist releasing music through his own label - Peace, Love & Tea Records - and won the Midlands Independent Music Award for Best Male Solo Singer/Songwriter earlier this year.
Operating on a shoestring budget, he has toured the country and did a stint over in Northern Europe in January and February, playing around 300 shows in a year demonstrating what talent, hard work and persistance can do, developing a loyal fanbase and crossing generational, genre and language barriers his music is proving ever more popular.
The video for the single - Easier - features Crufts Champion dogs, a beautiful VW campervan, Miss Leicestershire, Holly Desai, and future Olympic champion Northamptonshire and Team GB’s Lucy Hatton, and gained over 15,000 views in just under a month.
Matt’s music has caught the ear of BBC Introducing radio producers and DJs up and down the country, and 2016 looks like it could be shaping up to be a busy year.
He will be performing in the area this autumn. For more information of where you can see him and where you can download his single, or make a purchase from the Peace, Love & Tea Shop visit http://www.MattHenshaw.com

Ten Questions with Matt Henshaw ... interview with the Ilkeston Advertiser newspaper

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Ten questions with.. Matt Henshaw

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Matt is a singer songwriter who grew up in Ilkeston. His new single Easier is out today.

What are your hobbies?
I’ve made what most people would call a hobby or an interest into my full-time job, and despite contrary popular opinion, it is hard work. But I follow football as best I can, play when I’m asked, if I can, try not to fall over.
What is your favourite film?
The Godfather. I always say it. It’s the most perfect film ever made.
What is your biggest achievement in life?
I suppose making doing what I love into my job, and making it work. But in terms of awards there’s nice little glass statuette on the piano in my living room for Best Male Singer/Songwriter in the Midlands that I won earlier this year, that was nice.
What are your hopes for the future of this area?
I was in town for one of the bank holidays this summer and it is getting there. Hopefully when the train station arrives and the football team gets back up to where it should be and easily could be I think it will get better.
What is your favourite place to eat in Ilkeston ?
The Durham Ox was nice last time I was in there, I used to work in the Rutland Cottage, I’m sure they still do a good spread, and my mate Zee would probably tell me off if I don’t mention Patti House.
Where is your favourite local place to go on a day trip?
Quackers was an amazing little thing to have in Ilkeston, I hope something like that comes back, great for the kids to see and play with some animals. There’s loads of stuff to do in Ilson, swimming, woods, parks, not enough people have been to the museum.
What is your idea of a perfect Saturday night?
A few thousand people singing along to my new single. Anywhere in the world.
If you could change anything in Ilkeston what would it be?
A few of the buildings are a bit of an eyesore, Tesco and the Bowling Alley could do with scrubbing up or scrubbing off, but really a general attitude or mentality shift.
What will your epitaph say?
God Loves A Trier - Belief Is All - Matt Henshaw wrote some songs.
To listen to Matt’s new song Easier visit matthenshaw.com

Matt Henshaw Life On the Road Tour Diary for Music In Leicester Arts in Leicester, Leicestershire, 2015

Original Article ...


Matt Henshaw

Matt Henshaw’s

Life on the Road

Part 1

September-December 2014
On the eve of travelling down to Buckinghamshire to do a lunchtime radio session for Marlow FM, then playing in Matlock, Derbyshire in the evening, it’s a good example of how my year or so has gone.  In just one day, I’ll be doing a heck of a lot of miles driving through a bunch of counties and I can recite the junctions and service stations of the M1 by heart.
It was ages ago that Trevor from Arts In Leicester asked me to write a blog for the website about life on the road as a Leicester musician, and I’ve only just gotten round to it.  My last show in LE1 was September last year, and I’ll be doing a homecoming gig Saturday 3rd October at The Cookie.
That’s over a year !  But I’ve been busy in that time.  I’ve played around 260 shows through seven different countries, five of which I’d never been to before.  So, what’s it like to “leave Leicester”, as the Mercury put it, and head out on the road?
Well, the “tour” started fabulously, ‘Your Eyes Are Made Of Gold’ had been my biggest EP to date, charted and made the September shows great, I did London, Leicester, Bristol and a bunch of places, riding high, and Peace, Love & Tea-shirts selling nicely.  Artist advice, marry a good graphic designer.
October brought my biggest adventure so far, a whole week up in Scotland, and I’d never been to Scotland before!  Aberdeen, Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Dundee, Saltcoats and Edinburgh.  It was grand, I had a tyre blow up just north of Dundee, luckily the AA were there in 10 minutes, a Toyota garage was 5 minutes away and I got in there five minutes before closing time!  So lucky, I managed to make it up to Aberdeen for my first Scotland show right on time.
I also got tea and a jammy doughnut bought for me by the mayor of Kilmarnock, who’s a Hell’s Angel! (?) and catch up with Jake Bugg in Dundee, he was playing a slightly bigger venue than me that night, although it did feel good to be representing the East Midlands north of the border that day!
As has been the case with this touring lark, I planned a little break after coming back from Scotland and doing a few more shows, including a big show at the Contemporary in Nottingham, which was my biggest headline solo acoustic show to date … but anyway, that didn’t work out, I carried on playing right up until Christmas, my first show up in Liverpool was in the week before Jesus’ birthday.
Then some time off did come, but as we all know, a couple of weeks with family over xmas is nothing like “time off” … I Love you family !
Next stop Europe…
Matt Henshaw at The Soundhouse
Matt Henshaw at The Soundhouse

Part 2 – Europe

January-February 2015
January came around and I’d been asked to go over to Europe for five weeks, the beauty of the internet.  How did people in Bremen know about little old me?
Fantastically just 2 days before I was about to board my Toyota Yaris plus acoustic guitar and Peace, Love & Tea Shop on a ferry bound for France, I had a phone call from Frank Turner’s producer who’d heard some of my demos and wanted to record some singles as soon as possible.  Guess I wasn’t gonna be able to rest when I got back home either!
So, I did it!  I went! I upped and left!  Through London, through Kent, from Dover to Dunkirk, through France and Belgium, playing shows, sitting in my car in the rain looking at landmarks, drinking superior coffee and eating chocolates, due to the lacklustre tea, UHT milk was something I was going to have to get used to putting into my Yorkshire Tea for the next couple of months.
One of my favourite things to do on the road is see and visit football stadiums that I’d never been to before, trainspotting kind of football fan that I am !  I was a little disgruntled by the European winter break but it was nice to see the home of likes of Club Brugge and Werder Bremen.  I didn’t get to see a game until I was in Gelsenkirchen that I was so pleased to learn was the home of Schalke 04.
I spent 50 euros, saw Champions League level football about 3 rows back from the halfway line in a beautiful stadium, had a cup of tea, an ice cream, bought a scarf and a mug, for 50 euros !  That’s about 35 quid, you’d be lucky to get a decent seat at a Premier League game for that, and that’s quite indicative of value over on the continent.
You don’t half get looked after, every venue/promoter/gig was so organised, well paid, people turned up and passed around a hat to effectively pay you twice for coming to their hometown and singing in a foreign language !!  Don’t get me started on the food and drink, regardless of the UHT milk, and the trial of “ich bin eine vegetarisch” in the land of beer and sausage !  I lived on bread and cheese for about a month, it was great really, lots of pizza…
A couple of absolute highlights when in Germany.  Bremen University Theatre, a couple hundred students, the PA cuts out halfway through ‘It Ain’t Easy’, always my opening song, and I was urged to carry on, completely unplugged in a huge theatre hall, and they were so quiet, receptive and beautiful, one of the best gigs I’ve ever played.  What beautiful people, can you imagine an English university in silence for an acoustic show, and passing round a hat and filling it with change and a few notes!
I also played a museum in Syke, pronounced “Zeekah”, on a rainy Wednesday night, the hostess apologised upon my arrival, after struggling to find it, as she was unsure if many people would turn up due to the weather and the venue, but as I was sat in the back enjoying my bread and cheese, she frantically came in saying “we need more chairs!”, perfect German efficiency around 180 of them turned up right on 8pm expecting to see a show, this English guy they’d seen in the local newspaper.  I sign a few copies and sold out of Peace, Love & Tea tote bag that night!
Maybe Hamburg was one the most pleasing destinations on my itinerary, obvious Beatles connections abound, and there definitely was a feeling I was following in their hallowed footsteps, I learned so much and developed as a performer and a human being out there.  And this was one of the first places I played ‘Easier‘, and 60 odd Germans continued singing thew chorus as I’d finished the song!  I had to come home and record it…
[see the links below]

Seven nights in the Netherlands closed the tour, Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Den Haag – The Hague, a fantastic country, nice to pick up BBC 5 Live and Talk Sport on the AM radio in the Yaris.  But it was hilarious to note the Euro stereotypes even upon crossing the border.
Germany was incredible, obviously in January/February I saw a fair amount of German snow, but on the road you’d never know. Going along the Autobahns at over 100mph listening to Deep Purple’s ‘Made In Japan‘ and Oasis’ ‘Be Here Now‘ (never have these records ever made so much sense) I would glance left or right to see the fields covered in three feet of snow and be amazed at how clear the roads were.
As soon as I hit the German-Dutch border, by Emden (where they have tea ceremonies but lets’ not get into that… Beautiful Souls!) and Groningen, clear roads, then BAM! The Netherlands, snow everywhere !  I had to pull over and have a real think about driving for the first time in ages…
Nevertheless Holland was beautiful, great waffles and sandwiches, and there’s so much I could tell you about my European travels but I’m not sure Music In Leicester have the bandwidth!  Maybe another time.  Whilst I was out there I found out I’d been nominated for a couple of awards.
So, coming home…
Matt Henshaw
Matt Henshaw at the Soundhouse in 2013

Part 3

Europe March-May 2015
Back in the UK, I’d planned to rest hadn’t I ?  Well, over in Europe I’d said yes to pretty anything and everything that had come through with my limited internet and phone signals.  So March through to May became quite busy.
Best of all I had been nominated for Best Solo Male Singer/Songwriter at the Midlands Independent Music Awards, which I went on to win and performed at the Drum in Birmingham, as the only East Midlands act nominated for anything in the whole thing, I think I did quite well.  A lovely glass statuette now stands in my living room with Geroge Harrison watching over it.
As ‘Your Eyes Are Made Of Gold‘ had been nominated for Best EP of 2014, I went to a lovely little shindig down on Denmark Street in Soho, and got a shiny medal, from none other than 60 pop songstress Linda Lewis, great to talk to her and her husband about the old days, she’s sang with Bowie, Rod Stewart, Noel Gallagher, the lot!
My first gig back in England was in that next of the woods too.  Soho, Central London.  Bloody Nightmare!  I explained to the audience a couple of songs in that I’d previously done a couple of months touring the continent, driving on the wrong side of the road, doin’ a show every single night and sleeping somewhere, who knows where? And none of it was as stressful as the last half an hour driving around our glorious capital, to which I got a great cheer … but it’s not exactly a good thing is it?
One of the nicest things about coming back home was playing in a bunch of places I’d been for the first time before Christmas, to be invited back was fantastic.  And to be able to go through England, Scotland and Wales and get a lovely reception, and tea, is wonderful.  Looking at a map of all the places I’ve been, there’s a couple of glaring omissions, I need to get to Ireland and Northern Ireland ASAP, and I’ve never been down to the south coast, only to check out Brighton Pier and do some Quadrophenia sightseeing… someone hook a brother up.
So to recording.  I’m looking forward so much to sharing the next few singles over the coming year with you all.  ‘Easier’ you can buy now on iTunes and what not, it’s exciting to be getting some love off of BBC Introducing and get invited into lots more radio studios … they’ve always got good tea!
And I still haven’t had a rest or so much as a proper  day off in all this time, and it doesn’t look like coming soon.  May turned into the summer and I’ve had a pretty action packed festival season.  Sometimes up to seven or eight shows a weekend.
So I suppose, what can I say?  Thank you so much people of Leicester, for being so kind and patient with me living in then leaving your city, and coming back, I hope you’ll buy my new record, I use the earnings to feed my cat, and I hope I’ll see you all at The Cookie, Saturday 3rd October.  It’s gonna be Legendary, I promise.
3rd October – see Matt Henshaw at The Cookie
Get tickets for this show
Key links
Matt Henshaw’s website
‘Easier’ Official Video

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Published 3rd September 2015