There was a certain autumn feeling, last night, in the air temperature, that one can breathe in the UK capital, with fairly mild daily temperatures and pockets of humidity here and there, replaced, as the light of the day fades out, by a breezy and slightly chilled wind.
One thing that remained constant, though, last night in London, was the rising temperature in the venue where the Italian Guitar Virtuoso Matteo Mancuso performed in, for one night only for the UK crowds, showcasing his instrumental debut album called The Journey, a record where the 26-years-old from Sicily displayed bags of talent as a guitar player in a very eclectic fashion, by mixing layers of Jazz Fusion, Rock and World Music with remarkable class and originality.
There was a lot of curiosity, also, at the O2 Islington Academy in London, where, together with an almost packed house, about the fact that few renowned European booking agents could be spotted, admiring the Italian guitarist performing on stage, in the hope, we politely guess, to secure some of Mancuso’s tour dates in years to come.
Mancuso was extremely punctual, arriving on stage even a couple of minutes before the pre-announced starting time of the show and bringing with him only two fellow musicians (coincidentally, both from Sicily too) on stage, a drummer and a bass player/keyboardist, although the wall of sound that they will then produce, in the following hour, in terms of power and sonic dynamism, was more than enough to back Matteo Mancuso’s technical ability and inner talent on guitar.
The Italian young Guitar prodigy focused, of course, on most of the material present in his debut album, where tunes like Silk Road, Open Fields, a rather splendid version of Samba Party and the album’s title-track, were among the highlights of the whole performance. Mancuso seemed genuinely to enjoy himself on stage (his body language with the rest of the band clearly showed it), interacting at times with the crowd in a very good English and displaying on stage and in full, the reasons why he is so highly regarded, as a guitar player, by many fellow Guitar Maestros worldwide.
The hour show in London with Matteo Mancuso flew away so fast that felt like a bit of shame that the show would end so soon. However, there was still time for a very last surprise, to close Mancuso’s show, represented by a rather splendid rendition of one of Jaco Pastorius (one of Mancuso’s ever favorite guitarists) and Pee Wee Ellis’s signature tunes called The Chicken, where the Italian guitarist and his band really let loose, raising the bar of last night’s showcase to the highest possible level.
Mancuso’s debut with UK crowds couldn’t have gone any better. Our website is positive that, in years to come, there will be even more marvelous material to come, for this prodigious artist and, given the success that his debut album gained, there is no doubts that Mancuso’s fame will spread across the whole of Europe and beyond.