Listen to the track clips below
Isle of Wight based dancer / singer / guitarist, Matt Kellett heard music from another time when he dozed off while sunbathing at spooky Knighton Gorges. The experience has led to a recording deal and an invite to play at the launch of a book about the haunted Knighton Gorges mansion at Appledurcombe.
Matt who was running the Psychology department at Medina College at the time, relates the story:
There were between five and ten of them and they seemed to be enjoying themselves and taking it easy as though they were relaxing before entertaining in the manor that evening. A Lute player started to play this tripping melody and a woman began to dance and as the song progressed she became more and more part of the music and I remember thinking it was the most amazing dancing I had ever witnessed. The musicians were as transfixed as I was and I remember becoming lost in this incredible impromptu performance. The tune ended and I awoke. The weather had changed from bright to overcast. I went back to the car and drove to Ryde. On the way back, a melody kept bothering me. It became more persistent and so I drove to Palm Grove guitars, which was owned by a friend of mine. I took the first guitar I saw off the wall and played this melody note perfect straight off. Paul (the shop owner) was very taken with the tune and asked what it was and I said you ‘won’t believe this Paul but it just came to me in a dream’
Inspired by this dream Matt continued writing songs, and returned to the studio something he has not done since his last album release as guitarist with the late great Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls shortly before the singer’s untimely death in New Orleans.
However things have started moving rather quickly since he played the song to author Gay Baldwin. A chance meeting with Mark Tuckey of Ghost walk fame led to Matt relating the story and being introduced to the author who has just finished her new book on the haunted Knighton Gorges manor. On hearing the tune, Gay, who has described the song as ‘an enchanting aire with a haunting beauty about it’ immediately invited Matt to play the piece ‘Knighton Revels’ at the private book launch at Appledurcombe Manor where itreceived it’s first public hearing.
The story continues when John Waterman of Solent records heard the tune. ‘I know of Matt as a dancer and was surprised to find he is also a singer and songwriter. Says John: ‘regarding the Knighton melody, I was particularly taken with the haunting quality of the tune when I heard it, as well as the dexterity of the playing and I knew straight away we had to release it’ John pulled out all the stops to release the single to coincide with the book launch the following week.
Says Matt: ‘the response has been amazing and I’m really excited about the prospect of playing it in public for the first time at Appledurcombe manor’.
The tune ‘Knighton Revels’, along with the bonus ‘De Gorges’ remix, which adds flute and harpicord to the basic guitar version, will be available exclusively from the Solent Records website and for download from major portals.
The CD limited edition single was recorded in a week with Guy Page and Claydon Connor engineering at 5a studios. Read Matt's back story HERE