Live Review & Interview: Little Matador

When I was offered a ticket to see Snow Patrol guitarist Nathan Connolly’s  band, I accepted it straight away. I didn’t know anything about the band themselves and in all honesty, hadn’t listened to Snow Patrol in a very long time but I thought for the sake of a night out with a friend, it’d be fun and I may as well. I wasn’t excited and when I went to interview Nathan Connolly himself, I wasn’t nervous. I probably should have been excited. I really didn’t need to be nervous, though. I initially went to the wrong venue, called the tour manager, told him my error and he said he’d done the exact same thing. So I ran to the right venue which was Stereo Cafe Bar where Nathan greeted me with a bottle of water and was very patient while I de-stressed (and recovered from running… you know who never runs? ME. Not even after buses!).  He gave a great interview and was very down to Earth.
Who are Little Matador? How and when did you start?

We’ve been together for a year now and we started last summer, not long after Snow Patrol announced that they were taking a year off. I really wanted to do something different, another album. This was something I’d wanted to do for a while. I called the guys up- we’ve all known each other for quite a long time and it just kind of happened. We’re still very, very new and we just made the record at the start of this year.

How has the tour been so far?

Great, I mean it’s very early days- this is only our twelfth show. None of it really feels new to us but we’re still trying to find our way. It’s been great, people have been very supportive, receptive and encouraging. We’re having a laugh doing it!

What was the hardest song to write and why?

Some songs came pretty easily but there was a couple that took their time to get right. The first single, Stitch Yourself Up was reworked a few times. Things like getting the melody right was pretty hard but generally, it all came together quite nicely.

Are you concerned about people comparing you to Snow Patrol? Well, people will know that’s what I do. The music is different, it couldn’t be any more different really. I’m not trying to hide the fact that I’m from Snow Patrol… I can’t really!

When I had emails about tonight, they said things like ‘from Snow Patrol guitarist…’ and I understand but I did think ‘well, they’re a separate band’

Exactly! I’m glad you said that. That’s exactly how we’re approaching it. I’m not trying to hide anything but I want us to have our own identity.

What should I expect from tonight?

Loud, aggressive, dirty. It’s just us being honest about who we are, really. It’s still early days but we’re very confident about the songs, y’know? There’s a lot of melody in there so it’s not just noise! Noise is good, though.

It’s so exciting that you’re supporting Queens of the Stone Age! Are you nervous at-all?

I am a bit but I’m more excited! They’re a great band, a great band to support and I think musically, it makes sense. I’m just very, very excited.

Are you inspired by their music at-all?

Yeah! Definitely yeah, one of the many bands we’re inspired by. We love the Killers… Troy from Queens of the Stone Age featured on a Snow Patrol album so there are a few ties already there with us.

Who’s supporting you tonight?

A Plastic Rose, another great band. They’ve been on tour with us, they’ve done three shows with us. We’ve just come off a Jimmy Eat World support slot, which was incredible- another band that we’re inspired by. The other band tonight is a band from here called Young Aviators [I reviewed their album earlier this year, click here to read it!] who we really can’t wait to see.

Now, onto the night itself. Like I said, I wasn’t excited. I was looking forward to seeing A Plastic Rose as I reviewed them for a magazine I used to write for and loved their album. My +1 had worked with Young Aviators on her college course so she was looking forward to seeing them but as for the band themselves… Not so much. Young Aviators were incredibly fun, they seemed a little insecure and apologised a few times for their performance but it was fantastic. In fact, the only complaint I have is that they were so insecure. The front-man was incredibly charismatic and really set the tone for the evening.

Next up were another Irish band, A Plastic Rose. I try to avoid saying any band is the next best thing because it is a bit typical and almost always wrong but this band were spotted by Snow Patrol’s vocalist Gary Lightbody and went on to support Snow Patrol, Frank Turner, Fightstar and Ed Sheeran. Their performance in Stereo was everything I’d hoped it’d be… and better. Full of intense riffs, intense vocals and not-so-intense banter, A Plastic Rose definitely made an impression on myself and from the looks of it, the rest of the audience. If you like Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters, you’ll love these. I hope.

Finally, Little Matador. I don’t even know where to start with this band, they absolutely blew me away. They were by far the best band of the night and that is no mean feat considering the calibre of the previous acts. They were dirty, they were loud, they were the epitome of modern rock and roll. They deserved a bigger crowd but to be honest, seeing them in such an intimate venue was an excellent treat.

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