Reviewer: Christopher Owen
In this intimate, eclectic gig, Cerys Matthews performs a set of songs that mixes Country, Blues, Rock and Roll and Hymn with such ease and passion that you almost forget you are in the glamorous setting of the Hippodrome casino.
Accompanied by a simply wonderful three piece band, and on various instruments herself (including a beautiful handmade Banjo making its first public outing), she seduces the audience with her unmistakable sweet smoky toned voice and throws you into a tuneful bubble that you simply do not want to leave. From Johnny Cash and Elvis (a gorgeous rendition of Love Me Tender) to traditional folk, this is a night of music that Cerys seems to want to play for everyone to show how much she enjoys doing so. Be it songs that have an anecdote attached (a brilliant cover of Tom Jones’ She’s a Lady, adapted to be about the man himself) or songs she has penned herself, the joy of performing in general is entirely evident in this Welsh songbird’s heart and is nothing other than infectious as she banters effortlessly with the audience, making you feel like you’ve known her personally for years.
The inclusion of a few welsh folk songs and hymnals is bold in a London venue, but she reads her audience well, and even the non welsh speaking attendees giggle and cheer along as and when required even if the understanding of the language is not there.
With audience participation and singing actively encouraged, you truly feel part of this wonderful evening of music and when the end of the show is announced, the chants for more simply do not come quickly enough. This is a night of song lead by a rich, soul filled voice, dripping with joy that will fill you with warmth and leave a smile on your face and a song in your heart. A different gig to take place in the Matcham Room, but suitably laid back and seasonal. A Fantastic night in the presence of one of Britain’s finest female musicians.