REVIEW: Matt Berry – Gather Up box set

REVIEW: Matt Berry – Gather Up box set

Celebrating a 10 year stint at the groovy Acid Jazz label is no mean feat for the multi-talented Matt Berry. Time has flown by with moments of pop brilliance as well as a few surprises in tow which are now celebrated on a compilation entitled Gather Up released on 26.11.21 via the aforementioned Acid Jazz. The box set is spectacular with a flurry of visual delights from longtime collaborator photographer Ben Meadows including a flick through the visual aspects of each release including rare pictures from the periods around each release plus accompanying attractive sleeve notes by Chris Catchpole.

Musical highlights in the set include dainty charmers as you would no doubt expect with any Berry release, the first disc features some of the more well-honed treats including fluttering samba of Take My Hand, futuristic acoustic World In Action, the may pole dance of Gather Up or 80’s synthesizers on Theme from Snuff Box. Disc 2 features lesser known but equally pastoral numbers;  Take My Hand live on Absolute Radio has a distinctly engrossing quality with what sounds like a alluring flute, Hang Man acoustic version reverberates to a haunting echoing chorusing before Blue Elephant Trip Two would do well if it featured as a Hoga Nord release.

Further highlights on the set include the rare and previously unheard takes on material that did and did not make the cut on the most interesting of what’s featured includes the idyllic I’m Going, Play On with its delicate charm whilst You Danced All Night might have you climbing for the ceiling daring to follow in Lionel’s footsteps. The final disc is a live spectacular dive into Berry and the Maypoles at their very best. Recorded over three festivals back in 2015 including The Green Man Festival the sometimes dainty nature of the studio material explodes into something altogether different in a live setting, non more so than Medicine taken from the Kill The Wolf album. The band sound like they are on some sort of mission to psych out their audience with this raging opener, similar in psycheldelic scope is So Low taken from the Witchazel longer, both deserve your volume turned up to the max.

If these 10 exciting years are anything to go by the next 10 years will be a further trip down memory lane with tracks and albums depicting Berry standing with more animals perched on his arm or, what I’m really hoping for, is another set of TV or even film themes from a bygone era that get a dusting down with the Berry charm.

Gather Up can be pre-ordered via the following link