Monday, 31 March 2014

Things I Like ... Gardening

Springtime is upon us ! There's nothing better than getting yourself in the garden, hence the existence of Henshaw's Horticultural Blog ...

I loves me some bulbs. The Daffodils, Tulips and Garlics are coming through right now and looking glorious. Come Henshaw trivia for you - the Tulip is my favourite flower. Every man should have a favourite flower, and know his fair maiden's too. And the spiritual paganistic symbolism behind each and every one, well, maybe not that much, but it's important to know what's growing, when where and why?!

I've always enjoyed pottering, my grandad Walter was my hero as an infant, he walked up to his allotment everyday and kept it pristine, weed free and everything in perfect rows. A great man! The other side of my family has pig farmers, keen pruners and very much outdoorsy kind of folk. We're all in the Domesday Book, William the Conquerer knew about the Henshaws, Millses, Hooleys and Watsons.

Gardening is Good. Gardening is Great. It can relieve depression, fatigue, give you a spiritual mystical energy that only getting your hands dirty and in the earth can bring. You are creating life, and in some cases, produce you can eat and live from !

And we need to spread the word to the little ones ! Here's me (above) with the beautiful Becky Edwards' daughter Evelyn. Thank goodness she knows the power of gardening, a shining example to all. Can't wait to hear how her herbs, veg and flowers are getting on !

Also, just a side note, composting can save the world ... or as those inclined to being pinickety about things, composting can help preserve the conditions of the planet to necessitate human survival on the spherical rock floating around the sun.

This is my mum. She likes getting out in the garden. But even if you haven't the time, nouse or energy to plant, rotate, harvest, etc. then get yourself out for a walk, get involved in some nature ... it'll do you the world of good, and the world.

It was her Birthday and Mother's Day in this last month, so as these things come bound together each year, please by my record so then this time next year she'll be reeling from all the nice things that I've done for her !!

---===DOWNLOAD LINKS===---

Peace, Love & Tea,
Matt Henshaw x

Friday, 28 March 2014

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... Emily Carr

When you walk into a pub, order a pot of tea and take a seat, place you Wednesday scarf and coat on the back of your chair, take a sip and watch some open mic acts you're not usually expected to be overly impressed, but in Leicester, where there's seemingly an open mic night every night of the week you might just be surprised from time to time.

I went down a Wednesday night show just south of the city centre hosted by The Simpletones and was knocked out by the talent. I've seen Matt Zara, Kate Rendell and Becky Edwards down at the Cradock open mic nights from Little & Large, and loads more acts that I'm sure I'll share with you another time, but this time around I'd like to shine a light on Emily Carr ...

Emily was seemingly shy, although everything about her makes you want to shout and point and exclaim how great she is. Carrying the weight of the 2010s, as all teenagers do in the decade they leave school, Miss Carr is strikingly visual and has a voice that nabs your attention puts it in a box and let's it float upstream.

I like guitars, I love Emily's guitars, maybe it's because they're blue and white, maybe it's because they're exceptional pieces of wood, or maybe it's because she plays them wonderfully, either way it warms the cockles of my heart, and I'm sure the way she sings and plays will cheer you too.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Henshaw's Horticultural Blog: National Agriculture Day in the Garden with Becky Edwards & Evelyn ...

Happy National Agriculture Day everybody ... I don't really know what that means, but I just read it on the internets, so let us rejoice !!

If you missed my blog yesterday, I recommended the wonderful, beautiful and effervescent Becky Edwards ... I 'll give you a moment or two to go back and read that one ...

... so now then, we're well and truly into planting season, spring has sprung and I'm so very pleased and happy and excited and all those things in between that make your heart and soul warm and tingly.

Here's me and Evelyn in the garden yesterday ...

... she is a smashing a terrific little human being ! We planted some mint, carrots, tomatoes, peas and some sunflowers ! She informed me that "gardening is an outside activity", "gardening makes you happy", "it doesn't matter if you get messy" and that "mummy doesn't like getting messy, except when she eats!"

You can read more of Evelyn's hilarious oeuvre over here at Things Evelyn Says ...

In the meantime, do as we do, get your wellies on and get outside !!

And, also, if you missed it, share, Like, Love and cherish this ...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... Becky Edwards

Matt Henshaw here recommending again, and bringing you the beautiful people of the world that make music and songs. And they don't come much more beautiful inside and out than the wonderful Becky Edwards. The twists and turns of fate and serendipity have brought both myself and Becky to Leicester from the north of the East Midlands, growing up as we did in Ilkeston and Ripley respectively, and finding ourselves in Leicestershire & Rutland.

My first week out last July with acoustic guitar in hand I met Becky and shared a stage at a little pub on Granby Street in the city. I was a humble open mic participant, and Becky was the headline act along with the marvellous Chris Conway, whom I've mentioned before whenst babbling about thems there Mia and the Moons. Massive Thanks to Stevie Jones for putting this one on !

Here she is having a sing song with her best friend, daughter and equally beautiful and hilarious Evelyn ...

... it's not all Disney classics in Becky's repertoire but I would be more than satisfied if it was. This video highlights the love between a mother and daughter and I feel, as we all should feel, grateful to Becky (as it says on her birth certificate - Rebecca she is not), for letting us into her life and sharing her blessings of music, talent and family with us. If this video has failed to make you smile, even just a little bit then I suggest you may need a support group of some kind, I don't know what, just Google "How to make myself happier" or something.

I Love Miss Edwards so much in fact that, along with Leah Sinead, I invited her to come and play at my birthday party last September. What a jolly pleasant night we had !

Here she is, above, playing at The Cookie, and no doubt you'll see her back again when I invite her to come and join me at an Acoustic Rhythm'n'Gospel Cavalcade sometime soon in the not so distant future ...

A few more things to note about Becky ... she is vegan and a shining example of someone who is talented, beautiful and healthy living a life she knows is right and pure, she is multi-talented so much so that alongside her music, she can dance, she is hilarious and a grand purveyor of words emotions and feelings, one day her and Evelyn will be known around the country, and making people smile in the same way I hope that Tippy and I do. Most pressingly though, is the race for the space at the top of the YouTube search, my friend Becky Edwards is not a pole dancer!

I owe a great deal to hanging around with Edwards, just being in her company inspires me to be a better person, when I say Leicester is a warm and loving place to be as a musician, I don't think I'm exaggerating too much when I say that a lot of that is down to Becky, for better or worse she helped forge the friendship between myself and Stu Crown and The Bobcats and led me to my discovery of The Simpletones.

I haven't even mentioned some of her great songs, 'Princess in a Paper Bag' is my personal favourite, 'Thin' is an honest and astoundingly heartfelt emotional ballad, and 'Your Face' is a sumptuous slice of acoustic pop, that I secretly think is about me, or maybe I just wish it was! Excellent songwriting!!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Henshaw's Horticultural Blog: The Major Oak ...

Good Afternoon / Good Evening fellows,

Back to life, and back with the beauty of this world, for some inexplicable reason or another I entered my two pennies in the ring over on facebook last, and today for another inexplicable reason I ave driven around some lovely parts of Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, and I thought I'd share my little friend in my garden ...

... Ladies & Gentlemen, the new Major Oak !

Don't worry Forestry Commission, or get your proverbial knickers in a twist, I didn't pinch this little fella from the roadside. He sprouted from a pot alongside my whiteberry bush, so I rescue him, separated him, nursed him to health and now I'm happy to say he's sprouted some lovely green oak leaves !

Here's my ode to Nottingham - 'Play The Game' - available now on my EP ...

Yesterday, I did a bit of Dr Botany work, rescuing some of Mia and the Moon's Laura Ann Ratcliffe's daffodils ... have a read of my recommendation of their beautiful music ... FYI daffodil pictured was saved from the roadside, Laura's daffodil were bigger, deader, and more of a collective in a tiny little pot with some moss, hence the big washing up bowl ... not pictured, Laura and her soup ladle that we used to go and pinch some soil from Bede Park ...

Peace, Love & Tea, MHx

Monday, 17 March 2014

My Life in the USA - Friday's Launch Party - Spotify Streaming ! (newsletter)

HAPPY MONDAY !  Here we go again, up the hill and around the bend ... another week and this one is most incredibly exciting ...

Here's 'My Life' getting a little bit of love from a radio station over the in the good ol' USofA !  Spread The Love, right?  Take a listen ... I've made a playlist of all my little radio bits so far this year, so sit back and enjoy !

The full versions of Play The Game and In The Presence Of The Lord are NOW STREAMING on Spotify, and available to download @ iTunes , and all those good places ...

And Friday is going to be one hell of a fabulous night !  Matt Zara Music , Rosa-Leigh and James Byron will make it so, they're all  beautiful, and I try really hard ...

Peace, Love & Tea !!!

Get your copy of 'It Ain't Easy / My Life' Now from all good online digital retailers ...

It Ain't Easy - Matt Henshaw

Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, bandcamp etc. etc.

7" Vinyl
A - It Ain't Easy
AA - My Life

1 - It Ain't Easy
2 - My Life
3 - Play The Game
4 - In The Presence Of The Lord

Digital Download (available March 5th)
1 - It Ain't Easy
2 - My Life
3 - Play The Game
4 - In The Presence Of The Lord
Bonus 1 - My Life (Acoustic)
Bonus 2 - Play The Game (Acoustic)
Bonus 3 - In The Presence Of The Lord (Acoustic)

And don't forget I'm having a party on Friday 21st March @ The Cookie JarLeicester, United Kingdom ... details @

Plus, some London dates and Festivals to come , see you all around !

Check for gigs and bits in between ...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tippy the Cat Hits 3000 Likes on Facebook !

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Matt Henshaw's Acoustic Rhythm'n'Gospel Cavalcade Launch Night !

Friday 21st March ! Next week at The Cookie Jar / The Crumblin' Cookie in Leicester !!

Support from Matt Henshaw Recommends ... acts including ...

James Byron


Matt Zara

An absolute stellar line-up I'm sure you'll agree ! Plus Soul & Gospel DJs, good food and drink, non-alcoholic cocktails and tea included of course !

Check the event on Facebook and tell me that you're coming if you're coming ...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Henshaw's Horticultural Blog - Gardening Spring (At Last!)

Well, here we are, March, no snow, no rain, no hail, Sunshine !! Sunshiiiiiiiiiiine !!

I've been out in the garden, Oasis on the stereo and tea in my belly ... plus all the vitamins, juice, ketone and essential oil, enough to make a grown man cry tears of joy. If you're not doing the same thing then I suggest you take a walk outside and embrace the happiness.

Check the summer rays and the row of tulips coming through. I think it might be the first time I've posted a #nofilter picture on instagram.

If you've been prepping your garden through the winter and planting all the right things at all the right times, tended to your pots and your greenhouse, and weeded sufficiently, you can pretty much sit back now and enjoy the growing of the greens and the blessing of the oxygen it brings.

Get outside, go outside and Enjoy ...


Thursday, 6 March 2014

It Ain't Easy / My Life / In The Presence Of The Lord ... Facebook Official ...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

It Ain't Easy / My Life OUT NOW !

Happy Birthday to my mum !

Get your copy of 'It Ain't Easy / My Life' Now from all good online digital retailers ...

It Ain't Easy - Matt Henshaw

Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, bandcamp etc. etc.

7" Vinyl
A - It Ain't Easy
AA - My Life

1 - It Ain't Easy
2 - My Life
3 - Play The Game
4 - In The Presence Of The Lord

Digital Download (available March 5th)
1 - It Ain't Easy
2 - My Life
3 - Play The Game
4 - In The Presence Of The Lord
Bonus 1 - My Life (Acoustic)
Bonus 2 - Play The Game (Acoustic)
Bonus 3 - In The Presence Of The Lord (Acoustic)

And don't forget I'm having a party on Friday 21st March @ The Cookie JarLeicester, United Kingdom ... details to follow ...

Plus, Manchester, United Kingdom, I'm heading to the Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday 13th ... see you there !

Check for gigs and bits in between ...

---===DOWNLOAD LINKS===---

Monday, 3 March 2014

Things I Like ... Film

Having stayed up last night watching the entirety of Ellen Degeneres bringing us the Academy Awards I feel like another thing I should share with you is that I Like Films. And you could say I'm qualified to talk in this area, perhaps more so than any other.

Film has played an interesting role in my life, like music, football and tea, it has been with me seemingly every step of the way, from being the kid I was in 1990 to the man I am now.

From watching The Lion King and Aladdin as a nipper and The Godfather and Goodfellas when I was little older, maybe not as old as I should've been, these films have informed my taste, views and outlook on life perhaps to a greater extent than any of the books I've read or any schooling that's passed me by. So, Disney films and gangster films, they might seem like polar opposites, and I know which you'd rather have your child watch, but the morality in the end comes down to being good, wholesome and kind ... the bad guys always end up dead or imprisoned, even if Ursula, Jafar an Cody Jarrett are hilarious, it's quite obvious to anyone with any semblance of sense that these are not the positive role models !

Along with my brother, I'm an avid list maker, bordering on OCD, we love to get together and decide what are our favourite cartoons, Oscar winners, comedy films, you name it ! And whilst we don't often agree, sometimes we do, it's always good fun, everyone has, and everyone's entitled to an opinion, great conversations ensue. And it's not likely that someone is going to beat me up when I tell them that I don't like The Lord of the Rings films, we'll probably just have a chat about it and enjoy a cup of tea, and maybe a biscuit.

I think one of my favourite appropriations of film talk with music is when Noel Gallagher said that "Oasis is Star Wars and Radiohead is Blade Runner", they're both great, have different levels of mass appeal, and they mean different things to different people.

And so to my qualifications, well I've a First Class Honours degree in Film & The Visual Arts, I could tell you an awful lot about Ealing Comedies, cinema verite and Third Cinema, but we'll save that for another conversation ... and don't get me started on Pixar Animation Studios !

Here's a video of me talking about 3 films that have "resonated with me" ... I hope you find it interesting and enlightening ... and I hope you feel I've got a long career as a talking head ahead of me ...

Here's some links to have a read of my essays ... if you've a lot of time on you hands ...
Film & National Identity
La Grande Illusion & Poetic Realism
British Cinema & The Spiv Film
Hollywood & The Beatles
The Man In The White Suit - An Introduction
The Man In The White Suit - Ealing & The Historical Context
The Man In The White Suit - Textual Analysis
The Man In The White Suit - The Legacy of The Man In The White Suit
My Beautiful Launderette
I Know Where I'm Going (Powell & Pressburger)
Hollywood & Sunset Boulevard
The Jazz Singer
Singin' In The Rain
Nicholas Ray
Douglas Sirk
Robert De Niro & Jack Nicholson
Women & Cinema in the 1950s
Alfred Hitchcock & Rear Window
Documentaries & The New Documentary
19th Century German Nationalist Art
Pop Art
Winston Churchill, David Lloyd-George & The Liberal Reforms
Beauty & Truth - An Essay (2002)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... Mahalia

Quickly before we get into it, look up the wonderful Mahalia's namesake, Mahalia Jackson and enjoy some of the sweetest sounding American gospel ... now, Mahalia, she's great !

One of the Midlands most promising talents, I'm so glad I've had the pleasure of seeing her perform a number of times and shared a stage. There's a real air of wonder in the room whenever she takes to the stage. It's a family affair, and when you're in the room you feel part of the family too.

Down at The Cookie Jar in Leicester I've seen some fantastic acts and Mahalia is right up there as one of the best. I've a bent for soulful stuff as you all well know and for a girl of such a young age she carries such a maturity and brings an effervescence that is so endearing. If you like good music, the pleasure and enjoyment you get from it is always multiplied infinitely by the feeling that those making it are having such a great time.

I'm so pleased to have been asked to join the stable of acts that are hosting regular nights at The Cookie Jar, Charlotte Carpenter, Alessi's Ark, Mahalia and myself will be bringing some of the best live, soulful and acoustic acts to the heart of Leicester city right through until Christmas ... I'm starting with my single launch on Friday 21st of this month, see you there !

Mahalia's next night - Mahalia Presents - is coming up this Saturday and if you're around you definitely get yourself down there ...

Get yourself a FREE Mahalia Download NOW ...

Saturday, 1 March 2014

March 2014 ... We Made It !

Welcome to March everybody, countdown to the single release has begun ...

You should probably should join the Matt Henshaw (Official Group) ... it's a kind of secret society / cult on facebook where you can get free tea and candles if you're extra nice ...

This is the dawning of The Age Of Aquarius ...