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.
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.
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.