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Matthew E White

LSO St Luke's. London Borough of Islington, Greater London, UK

In 2009, White and friends developed the idea of Spacebomb Records, an old-fashioned label and production house to turn the tunes of songwriters they liked into grandiose, graceful statements. White and his cast recorded a few songs he’d pieced together, hoping to show other songwriters how the system would work, but those cuts became White's debut album, Big Inner.

Big Inner earned five stars in The Guardian and a spot on its year-end list, plus those of Pitchfork, eMusic and Consequence of Sound. White subsequently toured Europe and America extensively, played Primavera and Glastonbury, performed at The Hollywood Bowl and the Sydney Opera House, and even staged a live rendition of his surprise-hit debut, Big Inner, with a band of 30 members.

The success of the 18 months after the album's release rendered themselves in the painful physical form of shingles, but the break gave him the chance to consider the bizarre turns his life had taken: how he had gone from making a solo record by accident to embracing a solo career so busy it had made him sick.

During this time he would begin turning the bits and bobs of song ideas he’d collected on tour into his second album, bolstered by the validation of welcome he’d found in the wider world. The result is the audacious, confident and masterful Fresh Blood, a record that feels like the brilliant bloom to Big Inner’s striking bud.

White’s having fun, trading lines with backup singers and saxophones alike, teasing components of the gospel, soul and rock form that shape the very backbone of the music he makes. This is White’s party, and he’s a most welcoming host.

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il 10 March 2015



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