Up-and-coming Grantham band Matt Grocott and The Shrives rocked the Castlegate public house on Saturday night.
With a fairly full house, the atmosphere was quite electric and the band surely could not have disappointed any of those who attended.
Young Matt and the band – all of whom are aged 20 or under – played mostly self-penned numbers off a recent EP and a forthcoming album release that they recorded in California, and which was produced by Green Day’s guitarist and singer Billy Joe Armstrong.
As hard as it is nowadays to produce a new and interesting sound, it would be equally as difficult to pigeon-hole The Shrives into any one particular genre.
They play an energetic fusion of punk, indie, rock, country and, interestingly, ska with influences – conscious or otherwise – including hints of Johnny Cash in some of the guitar work.
Matt’s own compositions were well constructed and catchy, and complemented by the exemplary lead guitar of Josh Horsfall, who peppered his licks with some interesting quirky effects, and all backed up by the driving rhythm section of Tom Shelton on bass and Joe Michelson on drums.
A few cover versions punctuated the set, with a storming version of The Specials’ Gangsters and an unexpected rendition of Blondie’s Heart of Glass. Their two-song encore included a cover by Rancid who must also be an influence on The Shrives.
All in all, it made a welcome and refreshing change from the procession of pure tribute bands that regularly circulate the town’s various bars like a merry-go-round, and I would recommend you catch them next time around, while you can – these youngsters could go far.