Matthew & Me – Rialto Theatre – 15th November 2016

In a lyric that could double up as a mantra for the band, Matthew Board cried “Give me strength and time, there’s something in it,” during the track ‘Silver’. Indeed, patience is a virtue and after honing their craft for more than half a decade, Matthew & Me recently signed a deal with Beatnik records which culminated in their first major EP Startpoint. The two-piece (which increases to four for live shows) are currently in the midst of a small UK tour to support the release and the antiquated Rialto Theatre was a suitable location for the band’s immense brand of alternative pop.

Based in the bohemian town of Totnes, the art school graduates have inflexibly stuck to a path of music creation which has seen them evolve into a fiercely epic live band. In a testament to the musicianship of the songwriting pair, each subtle nuance and rich layer of their judiciously crafted productions is carefully retained in a gig setting. Ranging from delicate love songs to vast ethereal productions, the Brighton audience were visibly hooked in isolated contemplation as the band’s immersive soundscapes demanded deeper examination.

‘Joy’ has served as something of a coming of age track for the group and it took spectators on an explorative journey on Wednesday. Initially guiding you into mystique surroundings, the next seven minutes soar into a cathartic release of rich ambition that manages to retain a personal edge. Meanwhile, ‘Figure’’s arpeggiated backdrop marries perfectly with its hazy electronics and tenacious rhythmic core.

‘Kitsune’ is perhaps their heaviest arrangement. Beginning life in an assuming state it quickly converts itself in a thunderous exhibition of the band’s sonic credentials which features a gargantuan climax. Whilst the majority of the set was made up of Starpoint material, earlier single ‘Patterns’ also made an appearance and is another visceral expanse that evokes inward emotions. The aforementioned ‘Silver’ is performed in a similar vein; creating an entrancing ambience in the room.

“Musically we’re just developing our own sound and it’s quite important to remind ourselves that there isn’t actually any reason to apply a timeframe to making a body of work, especially if you want the end result to be something that will endure,” the band said in a recent interview with Brightonsfinest. The dynamic arrangements seen at the Rialto substantiate this claim and Matthew & Me are now in an exciting position of deciding what direction to take their melodically soaring instrumentation for the first album.


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