Most people know of Matt Berry through his hugely popular shows What We Do In The Shadows and Toast of London, but acting was something he fell into by accident – his first and greatest love is music, and he’s an extremely talented singer-songwriter-performer with nine albums under his belt.
Gather Up is a boxset of his last ten years signed with Acid Jazz Records. It contains four CDs or LPs, and encapsulates his extremely varied taste in music. The first album is a great introduction to Berry, from Take My Hand – best known as the title song from Toast – to the nine-minutes-plus epic Solistice. Album two is full of rarities that either haven’t made it to an actual song, or were co-oped into a new one.
The third album is a venture into how Berry builds his work, while the fourth is full of live versions and Berry at his best. There are touches of comedy woven throughout, but don’t for a second imagine that he doesn’t take his music seriously. Consider that he wrote and produced Phantom Birds in the middle of lockdown, playing everything other than drums (which I think is simply because he can’t fit a set in his studio) and you get an idea of his love for it.
I’ll be honest and confess that Matt’s taste in music didn’t quite line up with my own – he’s a little bit country and I’m more a rock n roll girl – but Gather Up wormed its way under my skin and into my soul. October Sun and Woman are probably my favourite tracks, though this is subject to change on any given day and dependent on my mood. 😀