Matt Berry: Kill The Wolf

Rural prog jewel from the vociferous Brit funnyman.

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He’s more recognisable for appearances in TV comedies such as Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The IT Crowd, but this Bedford-born son of the Shire with the James Mason enunciation and Tomorrow People wardrobe belongs in prog’s golden era.

Split between his comical pursuits and a love of rural folk, Matt Berry’s fourth album Kill The Wolf is no laughing matter. Reprising motifs from 2011’s rustic DIY release Witchazel, references to The Wicker Man, Kevin Ayers and Mike Oldfield are immediate.

But Berry’s songwriting nous prevents this being mere homage. Capturing that epoch’s warmth and whimsy, tracks such as the twinkling nine-minute Solstice suite and harmony-drenched October Sun are surprisingly touching for a man sporting a Carry On Screaming-style hairy hand on the cover.

This is Berry in a nutshell; the studious, self-taught multi-instrumentalist who can’t help throwing an impish curveball now and again. Devil Inside Me (essentially Witchazel’s Rain Came Down sieved through Dreadlock Holiday) sums it up. ‘Hello, yes, I’m not too sure who I’m meant to be, do you want me to be the priest or the adversary?’

When it’s this good, he can be whoever he likes.

Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.