The Blue Door: Matty Sheets and the BlockheadsDec 2nd, 2011 | By Avalon Kenny | Category: News, Sounds
Laila Nur is one of the coolest, genuinely nicest people I’ve met. I had the opportunity of playing a show with her in July and she is an extremely talented folk musician. She also donates her house as a performance space called the Blue Door. It is a cozy, comfortable basement with Christmas lights and couches, and offers an intimate experience for both the bands and the crowd. I had the chance to catch a set by Matty Sheets and the Blockheads there this weekend.
The Blockheads bring together several talented musicians. Matty Sheets, a true Jack of all trades, has played in bands like Eating the Invaders and Come Hell or High Water. He hosts an open mic night on Tuesdays at the Flatiron, and is one of Avant Greensboro’s wonderful contributors. Matty is the frontman of the Blockheads, on guitar and vocals. Also in the band is Jessica ‘Lil P’ Pennell on accordion and melodica – you can hear her sweet folky sounds in The Painted Skulls. Emily Stewart (Emily Stewart and the Baby Teeth) plays banjo and more. The band also has two-thirds of The Leeves – Jerrod Smith on drums and Jon Bohlen on bass. Erin Hayes plays flute and Stefan DiMuzio plays keys. The entire group provides backing vocals.
Their sound is self-described ‘aquatic garage rock’ but also brings folk and eclectic rock styles in. When I asked a friend to describe their music to me, his only words were ‘fucking awesome’. It’s true – The Blockheads are probably one of the most badass bands in Greensboro. They are definitely one of my favorites, alongside The Leeves and Friend House.
They started their set around 10 PM with “Up To Snuff”. Its catchy chorus definitely made it a good song to start with. The crowd immediately started dancing. They played other songs like “Heart”, “Walking On Shark”, and “Nashville” – my personal favorite. They also played “Shetland Pony”, a song by and in tribute to the late Dan ‘Half-Pint’ Parks. They closed the set with “Wicket”. It was a brilliantly cohesive collection of songs that showcased their diversity as a group.
The crowd was just as excellent as the band. Very few – if any – people remained still as The Blockheads played. The people in the front were all dancing, myself included. During “Shetland Pony”, two girls and I made an attempt at square dancing. However, due to the small space, it was short-lived. Many people sang along, and I found myself joining in.
The Blockheads are extremely talented musicians. Their ever-present members can be found in many other bands, from the punky sounds of The Leeves to the folky Painted Skulls. I definitely recommend checking out The Blockheads if you get a chance to see them live.