Some of our best reviews are the conversations that happen after our shows. Here we capture just a few audience and press highlights. We appreciate every performance and hope to bring more music and good mental health to many more soon.
"Soulful, upbeat, optimistic"
The show has a good heart with very good intentions it provides an individual’s reflection on their personal and all too common struggle with the challenges of mental health. [...] The central song “We Are What We Overcome” is a soulful upbeat and optimistic number that acts as a welcome indicator to a rise from rock bottom and towards better times. This reminded me a little of the guitar and vocal sounds of Edwyn Collins and is a song I would choose to hear again. The music and songs provide some welcome variety to the show. Some are more emotional and poetic, other songs are more rocky, upbeat and foot-tapping.
Jim Judges, Fringe Review
"Charm, humility, wit, and a gifted songwriter"
A man opening up about his mental health is to be commended, and Matt McGuinness does it with charm, humility and gentle wit. It’s an old joke that doing the Fringe is cheaper than therapy, but McGuinness has actually done the maths and can tell you the price difference. His show has jokes, storytelling (a nicely written sequence about Antony Gormley’s beach statues in Merseyside is a standout) and he’s a gifted songwriter too, with a voice and style reminiscent of Edwyn Collins.
Andrew Eaton-Lewis, The Scotsman
"Engaging, moving, honest"
Matt McGuinness produces an engaging performance, interspersed with his own songs. He takes us through his “broken and fixed” childhood in Crosby, Merseyside, as well as the issues he’s faced as an adult. In a moving tale he relates how the Anthony Gormley statues on the beach of his home town inspired him in his darkest times, and he makes a plea to all to get professional help if required. The songs are well performed too, the highlight being the tender ‘Everything Under the Moon’ with which he concludes a touching and honest performance. His “rash decision” to perform at the Fringe was a good one.
Charlie Ellis, Three Weeks Edinburgh
"Original, unique, absolutely brilliant. Not one to miss."
Musician and poet Matt McGuinness, in a most original and unique manner, incorporated music, stories and anecdotes, dark humour and positivity, exploring themes of mental health, being middle-aged and male. One of the things that shone out for me the most from Matt McGuinness & the MLC was how well the band worked together; the music they created was absolutely brilliant reminding me of The Divine Comedy band in parts! My personal favourites were 'Everything Under The Moon' and the song the evening was named after, 'We Are What We Overcome'. Before each song, Matt walked down from the stage into the audience and explained the meaning and stories behind each song, which made the evening feel personal and intimate. So this is definitely not one to miss.
Alice Featherstone, Buxton Fringe
"Welcoming, warm, genuine"
Matt's show was a welcoming, warm evening of live music, comical stories and a genuine invite to us all to consider our mental health. I particularly enjoyed the music and songs which were uplifting and heartening. A welcome balm of comfort and joy. Thank you.
Audience Review, LC, Derby
"Candid, encouraging, inspiring"
Matt's show was honest and gave real-life insight into living with mental illness. His candid approach was open, encouraging, and inspiring. The musicianship and songs were great, which made the show accessible and entertaining whilst sending out the all-important message that there is support out there for everyone and no one needs to go through mental illness alone.
Audience Review, JF, Derby
"Clever, thought-provoking, deep"
I honestly didn’t know what to expect going to see ‘We Are What We Overcome’ although I was aware of the subject matter. The story telling through the various songs, with links to the stage props was so cleverly done and the musicians that supported were truly superb. It was really thought provoking and some of it was quite difficult to hear. I’d actually like to see the show again to properly appreciate the underlying story, it’s quite deep and think it needs a second run for it to be better understood and appreciated.
Audience Review, CP, Melbourne
"Hard hitting, glad I stayed"
Did not know what to expect from Matt’s show. His stories and lyrics hit home, some I felt I wanted to run and hide, others gave me something to consider that I had not thought of or had forgotten. The music from the band was fantastic and brought that extra something. The props around the stage helped with the story telling and having something to focus on when hearing something that was particularly hard. I am glad I went and stayed for the whole show; will attend again. It was good to be around people feeling like me and be able to talk about mental health in the environment created.
Audience Review, PW, Derby
"High quality, highly recommended"
The combination of conversation and song was relatable, enjoyable and high quality. Matt's friendly and funny approach to telling his story and the brilliant music made for a really enjoyable evening in what has been a challenging time for many. This is a highly recommended show from us.
Sabra Khan, BEDLAM Festival Director, Birmingham
"Well-crafted, valuable, necessary"
Matt McGuinness’ show is comfortable. That doesn’t sound like a glowing review, but the creation of comfort within this show is crafted, valuable, and necessary. It impressed me. [...] like a series of small, polished TED talks on Mental Health, Parenting, Humanism and Love punctuated by poetic songs loaded with meaning and metaphor. Matt is humble, self-deprecating and grateful, and this well-crafted show is sure to help the cause he created it for – to help people be comfortable enough to speak to someone when they need to.
Clare Washbrook, Nailed