Stripped to the bone

Matt and Alice of Dead Like Harry
Matt and Alice of Dead Like Harry

Sheffield’s Dead Like Harry aren’t exactly known for their minimalism.

But this week, the city’s alt country stalwarts perform a stripped-down set at the Greystones.

And that includes a stripped-down line-up, featuring - just for one night - Matt Taylor, Alice Carder and Robin Baker only.

“We’re going to play Dead Like Harry tracks from right back when we started, in 1998, through to the Art of Anticipation album,” says Taylor.

“Alice and I did an EP together called Winter Sky so there will be material from that as well.”

“It will be really nice to hear Alice’s voice more. There’s so much going on at a Dead Like Harry show in terms of instrumentation that Alice’s voice isn’t heard as much but at this gig she will really shine through. Alice has a great voice and it will be lovely to be able hear that. Robin and I will step back a bit.”

The show is also an opportunity to road-test material from the band’s new album, Anytown, which will be recorded with Alan Smyth at 2Fly in a matter of weeks.

“I had all these melodies and they needed lyrics. As a songwriter you tend to write about yourself and your own problems but I thought that would be a bit boring so I started to look beyond that.”

“I was shocked by the rape of a woman on a bus in India and the protests that took place to bring the case to justice. The songs offers commentary about the fact that the case may encourage less sexist attitudes.”

That song is called Delhi Rising and it sits along other socially-astute numbers on the album, such as Anytown.

“I am always intrigued by the fact the North got a worse deal during the credit Crunch than the South. The song’s about the struggle of northern and Scottish towns and cities, which is why it’s called Anytown.”

Anytown is also the name of the album, as Taylor explains. “The album’s about other people’s stories, but these stories could relate to anyone anywhere, which is why it’s called Anytown.”

The Greystones gig will be a road-test for this material as well as Dead Like Harry classics.

Matt, Alice and Robin play at the Greystones this Friday at 8pm (tickets £5).