imageA cold Sunday night in Nottingham at the end of a week when all anyone has talked about has been the weather. I could probably forgive you not coming out. Matt Pryor himself mentions it a couple of times. The eternal call of Monday morning keeps plenty of people at home with the TV and no one really blames them. On this particular Sunday night, I went out and I watched Matt Pryor and Allison Weiss give two incredible performances. I can forgive you for staying at home, because I was there. You, however, should be kicking yourself.

Local four piece Lacey open. Despite seeming a little out of place as the only full/electric band on an otherwise solo/acoustic bill, they prove themselves worthy of their slot. Never coming close to an explosive energy level, their somewhat subdued performance is probably exactly what is needed to not simply annoy those who arrive early enough to catch them. (3/5)

Allison Weiss is just wonderful. Her album, ‘Say What You Mean’, which came out last year, is brilliant. Her first UK tour with The Front Bottoms clearly won her many fans and it’s obvious that tonight a lot of people people are out to see Allison Weiss as much as Matt Pryor. Playing songs primarily from that album, with a brand new and expectedly excellent new song thrown in for good measure, she wins over anyone who hadn’t already fallen in love with her. She plays riffs on her acoustic guitar, on the floor, “with her teeth” (I suspect that behind the guitar she secretly continued to play with a plectrum). She tells good stories and plays great songs and is, as I may have mentioned, wonderful. (5/5)

View photos from Allison Weiss @ The Fighting Cocks, Kingston here.

Here to headline a room much smaller than I feel he deserves is Matt Pryor. Matt Pryor’s approach to completely winning me over is three fold: Firstly, he plays a couple of his solo songs. These are excellent, and had he continued to just do this for an hour, I would have loved every second of it. Secondly, he tells a joke – A pirate’s favourite letter? “You’d think it’d be ARRRR but it’s actually the ‘C.’’ Thirdly, he plays ‘Out of Reach’ by The Get Up Kids. By this point he’s been on stage for, at a push, 15 minutes and everyone is exactly where they need to be.  For the next 45 minutes he plays songs from his solo records and from The Get Up Kids’ records. He talks to people, jokes with them, takes requests, and plays nothing but brilliant songs.  Afterwards he stands at the merch table with Allison Weiss and tells a bunch more jokes, shakes hands, signs whatever people ask him to, and generally leaves his audience in a perfect mood.

View photos from Matt Pryor @ The Fighting Cocks, Kingston here.

Blame the weather if you must, but if you didn’t catch this tour, there’s nothing left to do but feel sorry for yourself. (5/5)


Words by Tom Knott (@thislifeishuge)

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