LIVE REVIEW: Matt Stalker & Fables @ Mining Institute, Newcastle (20.02.16) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: just one of the band’s many incarnations, circa March 2015

Long-term fans and a healthy amount of family and friends entered the Mining Institute, in elegant attire, to salvage a last meal with Matt Stalker & Fables; a concert promoted as a ‘swan-song’ and a celebration of the group’s eight years together in various incarnations.

Jason Thompson’s film about the making of the band’s final record, Knots, started proceedings downstairs in the auditorium, and offered both a way for those close to the music to reflect, as well as a good entry point for others to the attitudes and ideas of the musicians ahead of their farewell show.

The Moses Choreography started the main feature in the hall upstairs, with a quartet of strings, including Jenny Nendick’s cello backing Stalker’s crisp and spritely vocal. The rest of the band then joined in, delivering impeccable arrangements, as if writing type on the air with a fountain pen. Ditte Elly’s rich voice was wisely promoted in a number of these newer compositions, from a duetting backing vocal to sharing dialoguing lead-lines.
With confidence overflowing Stalker’s chalice, I doubt this evening symbolises any real conclusion for his own writing, but a breath for him and his friends to try other adventures for a while.

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