Live review: Matthew E White @ Drygate 26th March 2022

Accompanied and supported by Charles Watson (previously one half of Slow Club), the soulful and super chilled Matthew E. White headlined Glasgow’s Drygate for an intimate and relaxed evening of K Bay hits after over two years of being off stage. 

Catching the tail end of Watson’s set, we were aware that with many at the Hydro for a Sam Fender affair we were going to reap the benefits of having a cosy huddle of White enthusiasts for company the next couple of hours, a pure joy. 

It seemed that to be in his band, in this tour, a white t-shirt was mandatory but White himself casually strolled on stage in his back joggers and hoodie, baseball cap and Adidas trainers, all adding to this chilled persona of this bearded Virginian, reggae influenced, folk/gospel dabbler. 

Kicking off with ‘Nested’, he set the mood for the next hour or so: a K Bay tour, with enough oomph and sass for a Saturday night in Glasgow’s east-end. ‘Judy and Take Your Time (And Find That Orange to Squeeze)’ brought the mood right back down before tracks such as ‘Genuine Hesitation’ and ‘Let’s Ball’ were unleashed. With a rendition of ‘Rock & Roll Is Cold’ (from 2015 LP Fresh Blood) that invigorated the crowd, White warmed to his crowd, who were clearly invested in the evening. 

Bringing it back down tempo with tracks such as ‘Hedged in Darkness’ and then bringing it up again withElectric’, White and band have a way of making it seemingly easily slick, to get up there, keep it spicy and tight, flawless but with zero effort. 

Despite the intimate crowd and relaxed efforts on stage, White encourages an unexpected rowdiness in the audience that gave the Drygate its place in Glasgow’s gig efforts that Saturday evening. Forget the Hydro for Fender, it was a sheer delight and warm pleasure to be in the company of White, (Alan) Parker and company.

Photo credit: Shawn Brackbill

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