Round three for rocker Iain and Co

Iain Matthews is back with an all new lineup of Matthews Southern Comfort. (s)
Iain Matthews is back with an all new lineup of Matthews Southern Comfort. (s)

Matthews Southern Comfort is back to make heads spin with shots of country, folk and rock.

So get the drinks in because singer Iain Matthews is swinging into Pendle for a knees-up in Barnoldswick with his new MSC band, an all Dutch lineup.

“This is my second shot at ‘getting it right’,” he said. “I was never completely comfortable with the band’s original sound. Seven years ago I made the first MSC ‘comeback’ album. It was called Kinda New and turned out great, but not quite there.

“So, seven years later, we tried again. The album’s called Like a Radio and has all the elements I was looking for. Now we just push it out into the world and see if it breathes.

“The original sound was somewhat alien for the UK, in that it was very country sounding.

“The new band is more mainstream: no steel guitar and very acoustic; almost like a folk group with piano and electric guitar.”

But there are a few ingredients which still have their magic - like the “big harmonies” and “unknown cover songs”.

The band topped the charts worldwide in 1970 with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song, Woodstock. In 2000, Matthews moved to The Netherlands and later formed the all-new lineup, which, in 2010, released the first MSC album in 40 years.

And just like a fine whiskey, the sound has matured deliciously over 50 years. Today, it’s a soul-warming brew of the “old, new and the yet to come”, mixed in with reinvented tracks with “alternative grooves, moods and instrumentation.”

“We’ve just dressed them up differently,” Iain said. “I have to say, they seem far happier in their new clothes.”

And the rocker couldn’t be more excited to show them off when he comes to Barnldswick.

“I hear it’s a cosy northern hamlet! I’m from the North, so I’m sure I’ll feel very much at home,” he said.

But don’t expect it to be a quiet night out.

“Back in the day, I was extremely shy, and people saw little of me as a leader, which meant the music had to do the talking. Now we have both,” Iain said.

“We want people to have a warm and fuzzy experience. It’s music with history and a tail as long as Halley’s comet - uncalculated, uncompromising, recognisable songs played by great musicians.”

The gig will take place on Thursday, December 7th, at The Arts and Music Centre, Barnoldswick, 18 - 22 Rainhall Road. Doors open at 7-30pm.

Tickets cost £15 plus booking fee and can be purchased by visiting www.barnoldswickmusicandartscentre.com or calling 01282 813374 or 07712 628366.