March 2nd, 2007
CHANCES are you've not heard of Dave Matthews. A quick straw poll of, well, everybody before his Manchester gig revealed a grand total of no fans at all among colleagues, family, close friends and even random acquaintances.
Well, turns out he's just a well-kept secret. A decent singer with a come-to-bed voice, some fine songs, a talent for acoustic guitar, and a deadpan sense of humour.
In America, with the Dave Matthews Band, he's something of a superstar - with Grammy nominations, platinum albums, and performances alongside the Rolling Stones.
Here, however, he remains relatively unknown. Not that he doesn't have fans - he's a sell-out success at the Apollo with eager supporters who've travelled the country to hear his solo acoustic set in hushed reverence. Obviously, they just like to keep his talents to themselves.
Dave himself seems to have little desire to take on celebrity status. Ambling on stage in T-shirt and jeans, he is relaxed to the point of being almost horizontal as he strums his way through a two-hour set with quick-fingered fellow guitarist Tim Reynolds.