Matthew Frederick – Fragments

I’ve been exchanging occasional E-mails with Matthew Frederick for over a year now. In that time, Matthew’s told me about each of the singles he’s released from his wonderful indie-folk album, Fragments. I’ve listened, always enjoyed but never written a blog post to show my appreciation. I guess I owe him one. 

The frontman of much lauded Welsh band, Climbing Trees, this solo project is a reminder that there are still great songwriters about in 2020 – and that they don’t always get the credit they deserve. 

Back in August 2019, Matthew took the time and effort to wish me well after I was mugged in London. I listened to his lovely track, Hay-On-Wye, around that time and was smitten. Evocative and laden with hazy memories , it recalls a happy day of drinking cider and messing about on the river – a fragment that wouldn’t be out of place on a best of the Lilac Time record. “It’s definitely my cup of tea”, I tell Matthew before he ‘exclusively’ reveals back that he doesn’t care much for tea or other hot drinks. 

 

This Spring , as we dealt with the ongoing impact of life locking down, Matthew sent me news of ‘Laura Jones’, his new single. Infused With classic piano-led, power-pop sentiment and innocent charm, this tune wonders what happened to the girl-most-likely-to in the eyes of the teenage Matthew. “Whatever did happen to Laura Jones?”, I asked by correspondence. I so hope she’s heard the song now but back then Matthew could shed no light on her fate. 

 

Tonight on the terrace, and on the back of a new mail from Matthew promoting his fifth single from Fragments, Leave The Light On, I blast the album out. There are chirpy, up-tempo numbers but mostly this work of porch-music beauty glistens with an honest melancholy. Matthew plays every instrument on the record. I think that needs to be known.

As the Welsh circuit-breaker begins, I wish Matthew well and urge regular readers of Sonic Breakfast to get a slither of hope from the gems on Fragments. 

 

 

Ferris & Sylvester, August And After & Lozt – Cambridge Boat House – February 23rd 2018

As my plans to move to Spain edge ever closer, I’m keen that Sonic Breakfast will still host gig reviews from the UK. My good friend, Paul Champion, has covered a couple in Leicester and now the lovely Katy Adkins reports from Cambridge after a happy Friday night. 

 

Sonic Breakfast introduced me to Ferris and Sylvester with its blog (here) about their newly released EP, Made In Streatham (Jan 31st 2018) and it was a love-at-first-listen affair. Over the last month this has been my go-to music and I’ve felt that inquisitive longing to get to know their work more extensively. Last night’s gig in Cambridge has left me temporarily sated. 

After a drive of just over an hour, with my +1 sidekick in tow we arrived at The Boathouse, Cambridge, to find just a single parking space available and it was directly outside the venue – joy!  This adventure was going very smoothly so far and there was a growing sense of excited anticipation for what was to come. 

The Boathouse is part of a popular chain of gastro-pubs and seemed an unlikely venue: we found that we were not the only people to find themselves questioning the bar staff about whether we were in fact in the correct place.  We were directed through a small door, upstairs to the intimate function room, where seats were set out in front of a small, warmly-lit stage area.  Whilst waiting for the acts to prepare and as people arrived I learned that this was one of a number of warm-up gigs being hosted around Cambridge by the organisers of The Den Stage as part of The Cambridge Folk Festival set to take place in August 2018.  They whet the appetite of potential crowds with up and coming acts whom have already graced The Den stage or those who are expecting to later this year. 

 (To read about the support acts, click on page 2)