If you were lucky enough to fall into Trillians on this dark, wet and windy evening you would have felt like you’d stumbled on Newcastle’s best kept secret. Despite suffering from a serious foot injury, Jonah Matranga travelled over from the States to play a handful of extremely intimate gigs in Europe. And those fortunate few gathered at Trillians were blessed with his presence.
Regardless of the Northern storm brewing outside, Jonah attracted a warm crowd of which every single audience member seemingly enjoyed their own personal relationship with this incredibly open and honest musician.
All eyes were on him. He sat simply, perched on a barstool in the centre of an empty stage holding only a guitar pick and an acoustic guitar for effect. It is hard to imagine how this set up could keep an audience captive for an entire set but Matranga makes sure it does.
Jonah loves to take you on a rollercoaster ride of his personal emotions and invites you to share your own. A performance full of passion, he raged out Mother Mary and Superhero while bantering with the audience between songs with great comedic stand-up effect. Born to perform, he provided a request-filled show while mixing things up a little with some of his innate creativity adding variety to the recognised recorded versions of his songs.
Showcasing amazing vocal talent and a wide range, he proved delicate but not without bite, able to deliver the very depths of his emotions with spine tingling renditions of Living Small and Stay. He actively encouraged crowd participation and provided more than a few laughs in a self mooted, “silly” cover of Genuwine’s Pony.
Jonah shared openly his own experiences of finding himself, dealing with the hard stuff, and other philosophical truths that come with years. He wove the crowd into wonderment with Happy and even the most hardened heart melted with the distinctive reminder of your own mortality, 14 to 41.
The crowd was mesmerised during the brooding, melodic So Long finale which left a warm, tingly feeling totally at odds with the tempestuous weather outside.