‘Brexit pop’ alternative artist Matt Maltese and his piano serenaded Manchester’s Band on the Wall with dreamy tracks from his debut album, Bad Contestant. Playing some of his newer songs as well as his old tear-jerkers, Maltese did not disappoint.
Supporting was Brighton based FUR, adorned in some 70s turtlenecks and ready to energise the crowd with their funky, alt-indie tunes. FUR played hit tracks such as If You Know That I’m Lonely, as well as the newly released Angel Eyes. Each song had a groovy drum beat to it, accompanied by some infectious guitar riffs, making them the perfect warm up band for Matt.
Matt Maltese soon arrived on the stage with his band, sat in the middle with his piano, with a huge backdrop of a lit up red heart to set the mood. He asked: “Manchester, where have you been?”, as fans cheered him into his set. Beginning with tracks from Bad Contestant such as Sweet 16 and Like a Fish, Maltese’s stunning vocals shone through, even with the added instruments. He introduced his band, Harry, Ben and James, and billed the next song – Misery – as an attempt to write less sad songs.
Next came tunes such as Nightclub Love and fan favourite Studio 6, before Maltese reduced the room to tears in a solo rendition of Even If It’s a Lie, telling his audience that “Everyone’s been 18 and heartbroken”. The crowd swayed as one as Matt’s voice and the beautiful piano rhythm encapsulated every single person in Band on the Wall. The artist had another humorous anecdote to introduce Guilty, speaking of a time where he had a rather messy night, and then “had to go ice skating the next morning with my mother”, and dedicated the song to his grandmother who possesses the picture of the incident in question.
He left his instrument and strutted around the stage for Greatest Comedian, serenading his adoring fans, singing “and God must be the greatest comedian I know”. The majority of Matt’s songs are based on the harsh reality of the world, love and romance, and the final two songs were no exception. Performing Strange Time, and then heading into the beautiful As the World Caves In, Maltese took his audience on an emotional rollercoaster, with one lady shouting ‘You’re amazing!’ in the encore.
For a night of beautiful piano playing, tear jerking lyrics and an incredible atmosphere, look no further than Matt Maltese.
Review by Jess Foster / Photos by Rebecca Cribb