Full Time At Last

Ahhh, it feels so good to be able to finally write that title!

As of last month I am officially a full time professional musician. Its taken me many years of struggle, hard work and setbacks to reach my goal, but the important thing is that I never gave up. I’m lucky to be blessed with a dogged determination to get what I want at all costs – sometimes it means being endlessly frustrated; but ultimately I always get what I want because I’m willing to put in the work to make it happen.

So, now I am officially one of the house musicians at Smoke & Mirrors in Bristol, which means regular paid gigs for a pre-made appreciative audience. Coupling that with the success of my own open mic night at the Salthouse in Clevedon has meant that I was finally able to ditch the retail job that had been the source of so much misery for so long. I now have the right combination of guitar teaching, solo acoustic gigs and wedding band to make a comfortable living. It feels so good.

mattsmokeMy new job!

It also means I have a lot of free time during the week to pursue more of my originals music. I’m really pleased with how the first couple of tracks are sounding for my album, and I’m back in the recording studio with Charlie Grimsdale and the boys in a couple of weeks.

This year (hell, the last couple) has been pretty rough in many ways but things are on the up. Looking back at the start of this blog just two years ago, I’ve already come so far. I’ve released my first EP, gained praise from the likes of Frank Turner, completely changed my physical appearance and now moved into full time professional musicianship. Now its time to really push the original music.

Watch this space!

A Weekend of Highs and Lows

Wow.

What a rollercoaster ride of mixed emotions that was. I’ll start with the good stuff because its always nice to have something positive to take away from situations. Friday night was the debut gig for the Matt Reynolds Band, and I had the most fantastic evening.

I don’t really ever organise and promote gigs so this was a big deal personally; and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t experience some stress and headaches making it happen! But it all came together beautifully. At least I thought so…

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Preparing For The First Band Gig

Finally!

After 18 months of blogging this process and experiencing many ups and downs trying to put a band together, I now have the first gig with other musicians this week! Although the full lineup isn’t complete yet, we are ready and able to get out on the local circuit and dip our toes into the murky water of the originals scene again – my first time since 2012!

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2017 – A Year Of Change

So that’s it then, another year has passed and another begins, full of promise and potential.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you’ll know that 2016 was a very tough year for me, as it was for many. It was so dismal that it pushed me to make some serious changes to the way I lived my life in 2017, and I’m very happy to be able to say that those changes largely stuck and allowed me to have a much happier and more productive time of things.

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Building The Band Part 2

I now have a permanent guitarist! I’m pleased to welcome Nick Poole to the band.

Nick is a very talented, intuitive guitarist who has come up with some really tasty parts to my songs. He picks things up quickly and has a great instinct for knowing what will work well with a song. I’m really looking forward to working with him in future!

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A Time For Reflection

Tomorrow is my 35th birthday.

Halfway to 70! A tad dramatic maybe, but then I’ve always had an affinity for melodrama. While it may not be as significant a milestone as 30 or 40; it still feels like a definitive marker in my life for me. Personally its the point in which I feel I can no longer consider myself ‘young’ any more. A sobering thought in some ways; but in other respects I can’t say I have felt young in years – going bald at 22, becoming a father at 24, and increasingly gaining weight and becoming more unhealthy and depressed in the intervening years put paid to any feelings of youthful exuberance.

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September Update

Apologies for the unimaginative title but sometimes its best to go with the simplest option!

So, since my EP has been out in the wild I’ve started to turn my attentions to the live performance side of things. Last week I played at the Bristol Fringe alongside two other talented chaps; Giles Norman and Drew Bryant. The event was a songwriters night hosted by Bristol record label Jelli Records, so it was nice to get on their radar a bit. I got to play two sets of three songs, and talk about the stories behind them in between. The Fringe is a really lovely, intimate venue and I am thinking it would be perfect for my EP launch party.

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