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| ARTIST REVIEW - MATT FINISH
|MATT FINISH - THE GIG REVIEW
| | LIVE N COOKIN @ LIZOTTES
I had been promising both myself and Rob Prior that I would gladly catch a local gig for Matt Finish any time... anytime didn't really involve expected thunderstorms and a long drive ... but hell this was after all, MATT FINISH!
With self promises of staying for a little while and racing home before said impending storm
I found myself not giving a toss whether it was even snowing outside such was the vibe inside when the boys hit the stage.
The boys started with an individual member set.
First up was John Prior. John (the only original member and co writer with Matt Moffitt/Matt Finish for most songs) the drummer for Matt Finish, GUITAR in hand opened with a very moving tribute to Jackie Orzasky, a dear friend who had only hours to live. John was followed by Harry Brus, then Parrish Mulhoberac and last, David Adams.
Disgustingly, sadly (insert your own appropriate adjective here) the publicity surrounding the unexpected death of Matt Moffitt back in '03 was not what one would have expected for such a well known and appreciated Aussie band's front man.
I can rave about this gig and what a fine job was done by all, especially (probably the hardest role - front man) David Adams and receive blank looks - "why David, where's Matt?"
Anyway, back to Lizottes and Matt Finish.
The band started with two songs that were previously unreleased. Dream Away and Cold Wars. I believe that Dream Away was actually played live to air on double J from the Civic hotel in Sydney back in 1979 but never on CD/LP/45 or whatever.
Possibly the major thing that struck me was the obvious joy that was happening, not only front of house but on stage. The guys really were enjoying the gig. This of course spilled over to the audience and back again. I have been to a few shows at Lizottes but this was the first instance I have seen of punters on their feet dancing between the tables...
Matt Finish played
as Matt Finish. The reverence was almost palpable. This had me a little concerned. There were some obvious Matt Finish die hard's there (including myself) and there was an invisible bar that the band was going to have to reach to be accepted.
The bar was reached, passed and left for dead. This combination were playing as a band - united and happy. There was no great artistic deviation form the original scripting of the words and the music but just a touch of new flavour that was savoured as much as the food that was served for dinner.
After an encore and wishes for more the band all came out to mingle and sign copies of CD's.
Most punters hung around to chat and after a while of doing the same I had to leave as well - yes, remember the storm - I wondered what time the band returned to the motel and Brian and his most amicable staff hit the sack.
There was too much to this show to write here. The vibe was brilliant. The band performed classic Matt Finish tunes and some of the lesser known ones and the whole night will stay in my memory for ages to come such were the smiles, the reminiscent looks, the sadness and the joy. This was a celebration of more than 30 years of some of the best penned and arranged lyrics and music, talented musicians and memories of days gone by. It was a night I am certain that not one person left with anything but gratitude to have had the chance to attend.
Grab a pen and write in your diary "See Matt Finish tonight with Spy Vs Spy at the Davistown RSL Club" on the
space for the 28th of March. If you were a Matt Finish fan your memories and smiles will be refreshed - you can also catch John's unique drumming style - but that will be told another time in another short note from me... Perhaps on the CD review that is due to follow soon.
| MATT FINISH - THE CD REVIEW
MATT FINISH 1978 - 2008:
"Too many times before you get older you're living too slow and dying too fast."
These lyrics were penned by Matt Moffatt who, sadly, passed away in 2003.
They are from a previously unreleased song "Dream Away" which is the first track on Matt Finish's (formed in 1978 by Matt Moffatt and John Prior) new CD 1978 - 2008.
It would seem at times that the big recording company exec's need a new Porsche so they "remake" a CD with a few snippets from their old stores of various performer recordings and label it a brand new CD.
This is far from the truth for Matt Finish's' 1978 - 2008.
Although the song content was written by the Matt Finish Band (Matt Moffat et al from '78 onwards) and are tracks from 1978 - 2008, all tracks are performed by the current line up, John Prior, Dave Adams, Parrish Mulhoberac and Harry Brus.
Dream Away has taken over the number one spot from Short Note in my favourite Matt Finish song list, (those who know me will know just how much of a task THAT would have to have been) it has actually rocketed to the top of my all time favourite songs. The beauty of this track is there is no old Matt Finish comparison to be made. This is a virgin listen and it is just one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. The icing on this musical cake are the haunting background vocals by Dave Adams - real close your eyes and drift stuff.
Matt's lyrics have always been a little hard to understand, cryptically I mean. I guess we all interpret his words and the feelings and emotions embedded in those words, our own way - much like religious writings. And Sacred is an oft used word as far as Matt Finish's work is concerned.
Dave Adams has added a tangible life and reverence to the old Matt Finish songs. It is odd that at times you simply don't realise that it isn't Matt singing such is the uncanny similarity.
All the old favourites are included on this CD - Short Note, Mancini Shuffle, Don't Fade Away, Layman's Day, Hot Cover etc, they're all here. River is also exceptionally done on this CD.
The two new tracks Dream Away and Cold Wars (previously unreleased) also show the extremes of Matt's emotions and writings.
Since the drive home from the Matt Finish gig I have basically lived in my car such has been the frenetic pace of life at this time, but this CD has been in the player and I still haven't and don't expect to tire of it. It has helped me cope and deal with all things life. Music is next to laughter as medicine for the soul and I could easily OD on this dose.
The lyrics being what they have and always will be are the same. The musical arrangement is, again, so similar to the original as to be almost identical. Johns history with being involved of the arrangement of Matt Finish's music is obvious.
Although Matt penned most of the lyrics himself (some tracks are credited to Matt and his dad and brother as well) the arrangement was done by and credited the band and primarily, I presume, John Prior such is his talent and the reproduction of these songs.
It is so hard to write words that will justify this CD.
This is Matt Finish.
As much as we would all like to live in the past, in so far as our musical preferences go, I would advise to step into now, this time, this music, this CD, this band.
With retro all the rage these days there is a perfect opening for us to relish our old favourites but this is also a perfect opportunity for the Matt Finish resurrection.
This music has a place today, it is timeless, it can be classed as contemporary and this lineup are the ones to do it.
Matt Finish will be playing at the Davistown RSL Club on March 28 and you will find their city gigs on the Matt Finish Web site.
If you are ever going to grab a "best of" artist compilation CD grab a copy of 1978 - 2008 either from a live gig (recommended) or from the Matt Finish site.
PARRISH AND DAVE
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