Matt Black – an evening with ‘Piano Man’ – 28th January 2012

By Annette Payne

Imagine the Triangle Centre turned into a cosy cabaret, packed with people at little tables, subdued lighting, a stage and a piano. And then in walks the man himself to a Rocky style fanfare – Matt Black, the Piano Man.

This was billed as a night you won’t forget, and lived up to its promise. Matt treated us to an evening of hilarious and sometimes irreverent anecdotes to piano accompaniment, interspersed with some contemporary pieces. I have to say that Matt’s piano-playing was very accomplished and truly amazing. This was a racy, pacy evening and we romped through pieces such as War Horse and Black Beauty, Titanic (with sound effects), Bohemian Rhapsody à la Mick Jagger(!), Tommy and 1940s trench songs at a breakneck and thrilling speed. I particularly enjoyed his one-liner questions, his British regional jokes, and his Elton John harmonies. I admire a man who can multi-task, in this case playing the piano whilst simultaneously knocking back a Budweiser. And as he said, the piano is a good choice of instrument as you can balance your beer on it. That set the tone for the evening. A good many glasses of wine were downed in very convivial and relaxed, candlelit surroundings. And there was lots of audience participation with ‘Show Me the Way to Go Home’ with funny voices (I won’t say more, but it was fun) – and some good-natured heckling, which Matt responded with lightning-quick wit. We certainly couldn’t let him go without a couple of encores. We all agreed that it was a fantastic evening.