He’s a father of three, in full-time work and also heads up the band "Matt McGuinness and the MLC". A number of his original songs are based around mental health, his connection with it through his professional activities, and his own battle with mental fatigue and trying to find reason behind what he is doing.
In August Matt will be taking a solo show to Edinburgh and in Sept/Oct in the lead up to World Mental Health Awareness Day (10th October) he’ll be doing a tour mixed between solo and full band shows and talking at specific events around Mental Health generally and Men’s Mental Health in particular.
After every performance where Matt has discussed mental health on stage, particularly as a prelude to Frock and Bonnet, he has always had audience members, particularly middles aged men coming to chat and discuss their own experiences.
We are releasing two songs: "Frock & Bonnet" (lyrics below) and "Like a Stopwatch That Has Stopped". “Frock & Bonnet” started formulating itself during his second meeting with a psychiatrist and developed, on reflection, realising how valuable the sessions had been despite the shallow approach and low expectations. “Like a Stopwatch That Has Stopped” is about living positively with depression.
The Songs will be released as 2 films, downloads, A CD, a book and as a “Double -A- OK” vinyl single. Half of all income will be going to each of the local charities that Matt will be working with. Indeed we have already had offers of support for a number of National Mental Health charities and businesses incl MHM, SANE, George Cox Shoes and the Dandy Gent (men’s grooming products.)
World Mental Health Day
To support the release of the songs there will be two films. The aim of the first film is to clearly visualise the positive connection between good mental health and artistic activity. This is a topic of ongoing interest to Matts work as Creative Director of Furthest from the Sea Music, Comedy & Arts CIC, and the subject of that organisation’s forthcoming submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee’s inquiry into The Social Impact of Participation in Culture and Sport. The second film captures the contrast between the external light-hearted, best-foot-forward face of many living with poor mental health, and the inward reality of feeling dragged back into old age.
We are looking to join up with organisations and groups that work within the mental health area and with venues, theatres and arts based organisations to link in with any planned events that we could contribute to, or to organise joint events.
With this in mind every event will conclude with time allotted for conversation and shared stories. Matt hopes to create an informal safe space for individuals to chat and find some empathy
“The psychiatrist told me that I need to concentrate on one thing at a time, so that’s why I’ll be discussing Mental Health, talking through the roots of the songs and hopefully also getting around to singing some of them. What does he know anyway? As it turns out - quite a lot.
So, you can expect honest conversation, original tunes with a bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Soul, and a lot of how my life didn’t turn out quite how I wanted. (N.B. It’s actually better but apparently that’s not good enough.) If you’ve not heard an upbeat song about depression, then now’s your chance.
There’ll be plenty of time directly after to chat. Isn’t it funny how middle-aged blokes won’t talk to a trained professional, but give them a bar and a bloke of the same age with a guitar… Well let me tell you about my life…”
Your good selves
If you’d be interested in getting involved at any level – perhaps you could partner with us in Edinburgh/Oct tour, let us join in with an event you have already planned, or even just refer us onto someone else you know who might want to talk to us – we’d love to hear from you.
It’s essential to have nationally recognised brands like yourselves involved in the promotion of good mental health, particularly at middle aged men, who hide from conversation about Mental health problems and invariably suffer awful consequences.
On behalf of