Cerys Matthews - with support from Adam Green Review

Cerys Matthews with support from Adam Green
Manchester Academy Three 25/06/03

Cerys Matthews
with support from Adam Green
Manchester Academy Three
25/06/03

As a scraggly haired young fella wondered aimlessly onto the stage before muttering a sheepish "hi" into the microphone, it was impossible not to expect a security person to come on and take him by the hand saying: "Come on, let's go and find your mummy." However, Adam Green dispelled any thoughts of naivety as he picked up his acoustic guitar and reeled off songs like 'Bluebird' and 'I wanna die' from his latest album 'Friends Of Mine' as well as a ballad about 'Hairy Women," which contained bits of Lou Reed mixed with the satirical nature of a Jeffrey Lewis.

Cerys Mathews with support from Adam Green  @ www.contactmusic.com
Cerys Mathews with support from Adam Green @ www.contactmusic.com

The 21-year-old ex Moldy Peaches2000 member gained more and more confidence as his set went on, and treated the audience to an impromptu instrument free version of 'We are the Young Ones'. Although, it was a case of speak for yourself young man, as the average age of the crowd was closer to forty than twenty. The highlight of the all acoustic set was the upbeat ode to friendship 'Friends of mine', with Adam's crisp voice resonating throughout the cosy venue. What is interesting, is the fact that his voice is going to get deeper with him only being 21 years old. Therefore, he has the potential to develop into quite a star, as he gains more confidence in interacting with audiences.

Cerys Matthews arrived in Manchester to promote her new solo album "Cockahoop," which is proving to be an immense contrast to her spell as lead singer in Catatonia.The mother to be looks in excellent health, and radiates with confidence. Going it alone, seems to have worked wonders, and Cerys appears happier than ever.Gone are the days of the Indie-pop style, and enter folk and country and western styles, with the occasional touch of blues for good measure. Cerys airs her new style confidently, and embraces the crowd with introductions to her backing band, and descriptions of her fresh songs.

A grand crowd had gathered to see her perform her solo offerings, filling the intimate venue to brimming, however a laid back atmosphere was maintained. The audience reacted well, and looked on respectfully as she proceeded through the personal, mellow "Chardonnay," with her renowned, powerful voice and passion." Gypsy Song" really brought on a feel of the deep south to Manchester, and had it been an outdoor gig, there would likely have been fields for miles, and a barn dance in the next town.

" If You're Looking For Love" was introduced, an infectious number with an upbeat feel to it, the theme many could identify with, and were soon singing along.Welsh ballad "Arglwydd Dyma Fi" was Cerys at her best, full of emotion and feeling. A novel idea, yet still a number of audience members still managed to sing along. " Caught In The Middle" is perhaps the closest to her past pop offerings, and pleased those who came along expecting Catatonia over again, which was very few, and those who did, were converted. " The Good In Goodbye" like "Gypsy Song" was a strong country and western song, more Nashville than Manchester, with Cerys swapping her husky vocals, for a raw tonality convincingly.

Going off stage the crowd requested more, and after a short wait, Cerys returned to the stage, bringing with her Adam Green once more to much appreciation. The pair broke into a duet, performing a spirited version of Adam Green's "Jessica Simpson" taking turns with the verses, and singing together melodically. An excellent end to the night it seemed.However, the finale was not imminent as yet. Cerys and her backing band took to the stage once more with two more songs in store, before announcing their departure and thanking the packed venue, who's value for money had certainly been fulfilled.

Cerys has positively moved on from her pop days and matured into an artist true to herself, gaining new fans along the way, whilst converting long time catatonia fans to her new style, a large step in the right direction, and the way to carry on.

David Adair

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