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Matt Berry: ‘I’ve been doing music far longer than performing comedy’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 August 2016

Matt Berry head shot

Matt Berry head shot

Archant

Toast of London star Matt Berry talks about focusing on music with his band the Maypoles ahead of gig at Hoxton Hall

Strange things can happen in The Small Hours of the morning; at least that’s the premise behind musician and comedian Matt Berry’s latest album.

Heading to East London at the end of August, Berry will perform at Hoxton Hall on August 26 with his band The Maypoles to preview his new album released on September 16..

“We wanted to perform somewhere that was a bit more interesting than usual,” says Berry. “I’ve done gigs at Hoxton Hall before which is why we chose it – and it’s a bit different.”

The Small Hours is the third album from Matt Berry and the Maypoles. Following on from the critically acclaimed Kill the Wolf, it explores the point you finally fall asleep, then emerge from the slumber.

While he enjoys performing at gigs, Matt’s preference is for recording in the studio.

“I like the recording process because it is what I’ve always done. I’ve always had to write my own songs because I can’t read music to play any-one else’s.

“I like playing live as well. When you play live you can see the songs change and what you get at the end of a performance is very interesting.”

Although The Small Hours is, in Berry’s own words “not a huge departure from the last album”, he does admit that it is “probably less folky”.

He attributes this to the fact that this time round, he recorded everything with a full band between Rimshot Studios in Kent and his home studio in Rotherhithe.

“This is the first album that I’ve done that includes the whole band. We recorded it all in the studio and I added everything on top afterwards.

“Before I used to play everything myself apart from the drums, but this way it has that live studio feel to it.”

Despite being a BAFTA winning comedian, known for shows such as the IT Crowd and Toast of London, playing music is Berry’s natural environment, so he keeps his music with The Maypoles very separate from his work on screen.

“This gig isn’t a comedy show,” he says. “I’ve always been involved in music. It is something I’ve been doing since I was twelve, far longer than I’ve been performing comedy.”

“I was given an organ when I was very young. The first thing I used musically was the keyboard. Then the guitar came after that. For me those are the most important things to write on.”

Matt Berry and the Maypoles perform at Hoxton Hall on August 26. More information at hoxtonhall.co.uk

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