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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Interview with Wendy Matthews

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Wendy Matthews

The Marvellous Ms Matthews

Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  Thursday 8pm  | $42/44

Wendy Matthews uses her immense talent to capture and define a diverse range of styles in her music. She takes songs from every genre and makes them her own; from jazz to blues, from rock to gospel, from soul to outright infectious pop and then, of course, there are the beautiful ballads. Wendy Matthews and her talented band of musicians perform a smorgasbord of her greatest hits and new songs from her most recent album The Welcome Fire at the Byron Community Centre this week.

What sustains you as an artist? I imagine there are ups and downs and moments of brilliance followed by self-doubt?

Luckily these days not much self-doubt. This is what I do and have always done, and have learned much about singing and it’s muscle memory. I’m grateful that something ALWAYS takes over and I don’t even try to put a name on it.

You really cover a diverse range of music. What do you think this adds to your show and for your audience?

Music has such a diverse range of emotions. Sometimes you need a song to cut deep for a cleansing sob, other days you want to dance while doing some naked house cleaning. I practise both these things and can only hope that other folks feel the same diverse range of emotions through music.

You really know how to nail a ballad. What’s the key do you think to really creating something sensational?

Still trying to figure out that formula! I don’t know. And it differs for everyone. With The Day You Went Away it’s one of those songs that takes the wheel whenever I sing it, no matter how many times. If you feel the story you’re telling, that’s half of it right there.

If you had to pick just six songs that you think showed the range of skill you have as a singer and/or as a songwriter, what would they be?

I guess it’s the things I’m proud of, or have amazed me during their creation. If you can get out of your own way, a song feels like it comes through you rather than from you. Hard to find! Standing Strong and Beloved are two that come to mind.

Can you tell us what to expect at your upcoming show at the Byron Centre?

I’ve got such a great band who have been with me for years and we have a general blast. Lots of older songs, a couple of new ones. We just got back from two weeks in Melbourne and the social media comments have been SO gorgeous so we’re really looking forward to this north coast jaunt. 

Thursday at the Byron Theatre at 8pm. $42–44. byroncentre.com.au

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