Tynemouth Food Fest Preview: Matt Dunbar

Tynemouth Food Festival
13th & 14th of May 2017

Along with amazing food from across the region, this summer’s Tynemouth Food Festival is stacked with musical talent over both days. 22 of the North East’s brightest musicians will be performing for your listening pleasure, today we spoke to folk sensation Matt Dunbar who will be performing at 11:30AM on the Sunday.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get into music?

A: I am a singer/songwriter, music producer, sound engineer and general music lover from Northumberland! I first got into music (I’m not counting buying the ‘Bob The Builder’ single in this by the way…) through my dad. I reached the age of about 14 and suddenly I wanted to explore different kinds of music to what I was hearing every day at school or on the radio. So my dad started playing me albums by The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and loads of other artists that I still love now!

I used to mess around with tape recorders and lyrics when I was really young but I really started to get into the writing and performing on music when I was in a folk band called ‘The Radiologists.’ We were only young so we were pretty awful but we used to write loads of songs, that was when I first started to develop an understanding of how to structure songs. After that I formed ‘Mad & the Hatters’ in 2011, that was the first band where I played guitar as well as sung and because of that I could be in control of the music and lyrics! I used to do half a set solo then half a set with the band but gradually it ended up just being me and I haven’t really looked back since!

Q: Who influences you musically?

A: I sometimes find it hard to pin point who my influences are because I never really think “Ooh, I like that, Ill put that in a song” but I would say that the artists that I love to listen to are Ryan Adams, Mark Knopfler, Angus & Julia Stone, Allison Krauss, Cat Stevens, The National and then there are people like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac. You know, the people who influence everyone! I would say I am influenced by anyone that makes a good song, either musically or production wise.

Q: Who are you currently listening to?

A: Well, Ryan Adams has a new album out so I am listening to that a lot at the minute! There is something really personal about his latest record and I love that. I have tickets to go and see him in September and I can’t wait!

Q: You recently released your first EP ‘Home’, what’s the response been like since the release?

A: The response has been crazy! There is something really scary about releasing original music for the first time, especially in my case where I did everything on that record. I mean it isn’t like I can say “Ah well, the songs were great but it was produced really badly but that isn’t my fault” or anything like that, there was literally nowhere to hide! But thankfully people like it! It went to #1 on the Amazon Digital Folk Chart and #5 on the Amazon Digital Album Chart which is pretty insane for any artist, let alone someone releasing their debut work. The reviews have all been good too, I’m sort of expecting a bad one to come in at some point but thankfully it hasn’t yet!

I think the great thing about the EP is that there is something there that everyone can relate to. We have all been in the situations that the songs are about and I love that people feel that way! There is nothing better than seeing people enjoying and engaging with your art regardless of the medium in which it is presented.


Q: You’re performing at the Tynemouth Food Fest next month, with that in mind, what are your favourite and least favourite foods?

A: I am and I am really excited about it! This is by far the hardest question I have been asked because I am a lover of pretty much all food! I’d have to say that Thai food is probably my favourite, probably a Thai Green Curry with an unbelievable amount of fresh coriander piled on top of it and loads of chillies in there too! That would be my idea of food heaven.

My least favourite food would have to be any unidentifiable meat from a tin! You know when you get things that REALLY should not have an expiry date that far in the future? Like a tinned burger or a tinned pie, who thought that was a good idea?!

I know it probably sounds pretentious and makes me look like a food snob but I just don’t trust anything like that!

Q: What does the rest of 2017 hold for you?

A: 2017 will hopefully be a pretty big year for me, it’s been incredible so far!

I am putting together my first tour which is due to start in September! I am looking at doing Durham, Newcastle, Stockton, Leeds, York, Selby and Sheffield. So that will be really cool and really good fun!

I am also looking at making EP #2 which will be a really fun and interesting process! I’m approaching things in a slightly different way this time around so I am looking forward to getting my teeth into that.

And as always I am just looking to try and spread my music to as many people as possible in the hope that they enjoy it!

Find out more about Matt

Check out our other Food Fest Previews here and keep your eyes peeled for more!

Find out more about the Tynemouth Food Festival