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Streaming Review: Black Matter

Giles Terera made a name for himself as the first Aaron Burr in the West End production of Hamilton, receiving such acclaim in the role that he even beat the actor playing Alexander Hamilton himself to the Best Actor in a Musical Olivier Award. Now, he presents a brand new song cycle inspired by recent events.

Black Matter was written by Giles over the summer of 2020 as he watched the world go by from his home in Soho. With the pandemic and Black Lives Matter at the heart of the matter, Giles has taken what he has witnessed into this song cycle, presented as a solo concert.

With just a piano, guitar and his silky smooth vocals, Terera guides us through the most challenging times in our lifetime, with politically charged lyrics including references to police racial profiling in 'You Have The Right To Remain' and the Grenfell tragedy in 'A Picture of Britain' perfectly summarising the tensions and atrocities going on in the world. Giles performs these songs as if he is singing them for the first time with every gut-wrenching lyric penetrating the soul.

Featuring twelve self-written songs, the music is fairly versatile taking in elements of jazz, blues and funk - all stripped back with just Giles and his own accompaniment. If you're looking for catchy numbers to get stuck in your head, this is not what Black Matter is about - the emphasis here is on the lyrical content and the crucial matters being sung about. While some of the subjects mentioned may not be the easiest to listen to, they are undoubtedly necessary. The last twelve months has proven that the only way real change to occur is by talking about it and calling out the injustice going on. Through thought provoking and cleverly written songs, Giles accomplishes this with ease.

Wonderfully filmed with multiple cameras at the beautiful Crazy Coqs, a stones through from the home Giles wrote this song cycle, the cameras focus on the simplicity and authenticity through Giles performance creating an intimacy that makes you feel like you are there in the room with him.

A beautiful and important concert mixing some clever writing with an authenticity only he could provide, the sheer talent of Giles Terera is what carries this hour to create an enchanting concert. Reflecting on what has been a difficult year, ultimately we are left with a message of hope for a better tomorrow. Always relevant and never boring, in Black Matter, Terera has created an unmissable event.


Black Matter is available to stream on demand from Wednesday 24th until Wednesday 31st March through



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