Interview: Wendy Matthews – One night only at The Regal Theatre

Wendy Matthews is heading to Adelaide for a special, one night only performance

Canadian-born Australian singer-songwriter Wendy Matthews released numerous top 20 hits in the 1990s, multiple top 20 albums and a string of ARIA awards. Her captivating and expressive vocals connect with the lyrics and are known to move her audiences.

Wendy Matthews will be returning to Adelaide on Saturday April 22 for one show only at The Regal Theatre, thanks to local promoter, Markus Hamence. I recently caught up with Wendy to talk about recent tours, her performance in Adelaide and how she feels having played a part in shaping the Australian music industry.

“When you are steeped in the industry like I am, you don’t really see it the same. I don’t tend to look back a whole lot. There’s always a project on the horizon I’m working towards, or a tour, or a project to deal with in the present. Every once in a while I get a feeling when I listen to music and the feelings that come from what certain songs do to me, then someone after a show will speak to me and I realise I’ve become the same for them. That is an extraordinary thing for me when I can see that. I also try not to follow the industry as such. I live in the country now and have different priorities. My touring life, my performing life and my working life have very different priorities now, which is excellent.”

For Wendy, there clearly are no signs of stopping. She has just returned from a tour and performances with the exquisite Grace Knight (who is also performing at The Regal Theatre in May this year). Wendy discussed with me what it is about live performance that she just loves.

“It’s such a huge part of me. It’s just a fantastic spontaneous exchange with a whole bunch of people, and there is a certain wonderful energy about that. When I started this, I wasn’t naturally comfortable on stage, but now it’s become second nature. My sense of humour seems to come out a lot more; it’s just a lot of fun and very freeing. It’s very different from recording, where you can just focus and rework things and go over the moment a few times, but live, it’s just an instant exchange that I love.”

In 1992, Wendy released a very moving cover of the song The Day You Went Away. Personally, I remember first hearing this song and being not only moved by the exquisite arrangement and performance by Wendy, but also the way she connected to the lyrics and the emotional energy that came through to the listener. I asked Wendy if the emotional connection to a lyric or song, even through a recording, is that something on which she really prides herself.

“Absolutely! That’s my thing. That’s my form of expression. The lyrics are so important. Obviously it is the trio with rhythm and melody as well but the lyrics are important to me. I think it’s a very intangible thing, but that is the thing I try to do when recording. You just have to totally immerse yourself. People will not only hear it, but they will feel it. That’s just a magic thing to me and I’m very lucky when I can latch on to that.”

Wendy is appearing for one night only on Saturday April 22, 8pm at The Regal Theatre.

“I played theatres long before I played pubs, so they are a really special space to me. I really enjoy the life and the beauty that they have. The Regal in Adelaide is inspiring and beautiful to look at. So this will be a special show for me. I’m bringing my wonderful band, who I have been working with for years and years. When I go to a concert, personally, I like to hear songs that I know and love, so obviously we will be doing a lot of our well-known songs. I will be throwing in a few surprises and new songs from my more recent album. It will be a beautiful night celebrating music.”

Tickets for Wendy Matthews – Live are selling fast, with some sections of the venue already sold out. Tickets can be purchased here: or .

Interviewed by Ben Stefanoff

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