In case you were not aware, The Secret Show is Matt Davies of Funeral For A Friend’s wee side project. A 6 piece, atmospheric country group that offers a side of the FFAF frontman’s musical talent, fans have yet to witness. So, like many other curious cats, we ventured out to a miniscule, yet overwhelmingly gorgeous venue deep in Shepherds Bush, and awaited a new sight, Matt Davies with a guitar.
Let me talk more about the venue. It truly added a big fat notch to the atmosphere’s bedpost. Headed by a low, intimate stage, complimented beautifully by the stunning array of chandeliers that lurked above our heads. It almost seemed like a secret show itself, a very small, but polite crowd gathered the stage area peacefully, and gave the show a greater sense of comfort. I couldn’t emphasise enough how the atmosphere added to the quality of the show, it was an act in itself.
First up for the curious crowd’s judgement was solo act Broken Leaf, AKA 24 year old Rhodri Viney. Hailing from Cardiff, he brought with him a selection of well thought out melodies, not too cliché lyrics and an incredibly powerful voice that kept the crowd entertained for his rather short set. All be it quite melancholy a times. Though he was unfortunate to be placed before next band, Gethin Pearson And The Scenery who snatched the limelight before it had any time to settle in. Like Bright Eyes, it’s the work of one musical fellow backed up by a few of his musical comrades. The result was fantastic; a noticeably unique voice which was truly brought to life by female companion and violin artiste, Niamh Ferris who provided a subtle, yet very moving backdrop, or ‘scenery’ to Gethin’s heartfelt music.
Then came the moment the crowd had eagerly waited for. The Secret Show dons the stage to a rather hopeful applause. Not having been recognised for very long, and their only outlets being a section on the frequently visited Funeral For A Friend forum, and a few songs on the groups’ Myspace, these two debut shows meant everything for the future of the band. Opening with the swaying ‘We Blaze A Trail’ Matt and his gang preached the real talent they definitely possess.
The show demanded body movement, in the sense of a good ol’ hoedown rather than the circular mosh pits Davies would have been used to. Throughout the set, the band seemed like they’d played together all their lives, no clashes and possibly one of the sweetest, harmonious dual vocal team of Matt and Lianne Francis. As ever, Matt demonstrated how he was born for the stage by always keeping the crowd entertained with his innocent, witty banter in between songs. And even during the last song’s breakdown, commanding the entire crowd to get their feet moving otherwise they would never finish. Cunningly well done.
While the stand out song had to have been the epic ‘Manana’, the delightful cover of a gorgeous acoustic FFAF track, ‘I Am The Arsonist’ was a pleasant surprise of the evening, NBD! Matt showed his music potential tonight, his voice was on top form, and I can only imagine what he’s capable of in a few years time. Bring on February for the debut album. Here’s hoping this is a permanent side-project.