This week's gig guide shines the spotlight on versatile local singer Matthew Barker who has just returned from touring around Australia.
Matthew completed a Bachelor of Music on the saxophone at CQUniversity in Mackay. It wasn't until after he graduated that he began performing as a solo guitarist and vocalist.
“I first started performing in Bundaberg with the Ryan Giles band; I played saxophone, congas and other percussion,” Matthew said.
“That was over 10 years ago now. From there I branched out into a number of bands and projects including my original solo work, blues bands and a brief stint in a punk band.”
Matthew said his biggest influence was Ryan Giles.
“He's a good mate and he gave me courage to turn music into my career,” he said.
“Peter Knight is another local musician that had a big impact on my musical development. He guided me with my first recording and still pushes my song writing.”
How does Matthew Barker handle being a performer?
“I’ve just got back from seven months touring Australia and as much fun as it was, before a gig I got very anxious,” he said.
“I performed in many venues and locations with each gig being completely different to the last.
“I don't ever use a set list so the first thing I do is survey the crowd and venue that way I can determine the style, genre and song choices for the performance.”
Sharing the line-up with Bob Dylan is a tough gig
“Performing with Transvaal Diamond Syndicate at the 2011 Byron Bay Blues Festival was the best gig of my life,” Matthew said.
“It was a stellar festival and sharing the line-up with the likes of Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull and BB King doesn’t get any better.
“I've been very lucky in Bundaberg with my music. Locally I have supported (to name a few) Busby Marou, Ash Grunwald, Bob Evans and James Blundell as well as performing regularly at the Burnett Heads Lighthouse Festival and the Bundaberg Rum Festival.”
What’s next for Matthew Barker?
“Being away for the past seven months I have only been focusing on my solo work, however now that I have returned to Bundaberg I look forward to a number of duo performances as well as a return to The Black Snow Band. The Black Snow Band consists of David Lye, Randal Ing, Peter Knight and myself,” he said.
Matthew has released six EPs of original music as well as performing on a number of albums for artists including Ryan Giles, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate, Cleveland Blues, Army Of Champions, Tessa Fapani and the long awaited album by Bundaberg’s own Brendan Egan.
Next year will see a collaboration album as well as the release of something artistically new for Matthew.
To catch Matthew Barker this weekend he'll be performing at The Lighthouse on Friday and at The Club on Sunday.
Check out all the gigs in Bundy this weekend at the Bundy Gig Guide.
- Find out what else is happening in the Bundaberg Region this weekend, including the St Mary’s School fete
- Other news: Brendan Egan prepares for debut album