ED2022 Interviews ED2022 Music ED2022 Theatre

David Head and Matt Glover: Unwanted Objects

By | Published on Tuesday 9 August 2022

You may have seen, or heard, ‘A Good Service On All Other Lines’ – a show that won many fans with its winning combination of music, storytelling and humour – when it was on at the 2018 Fringe, or via the subsequent podcast which was released during lockdown times.

It was great to hear that the duo behind it – David Head and Matt Glover – are back at the Festival this year with a new show, constructed on similar lines. ‘Unwanted Objects’, another collection of stories and music, is on at Zoo Southside for the whole of the Fringe.

I spoke to David and Matt to find out more about the show and the talented pair behind it.

CM: Can you start by telling us what to expect from the show in terms of format and content? What type of performance is ‘Unwanted Objects’?
DH: Hi Three Weeks! So the format is deceptively simple…

MG: Is it deceptive?

DH: Well. Okay. It’s beautifully simple. I narrate short stories that are by turns bittersweet and funny, and Matt sings acoustic melancholy-tinged folk tunes alongside. And they all weave together into a bigger narrative. Hopefully it’s quite a pure form of storytelling.

CM: So they are all connected, in respect to their content and themes?
DH: Absolutely! It’s a very integrated and holistic piece, with both the stories and the songs.

MG: Yeah, I think even more so with this show.

CM: Can you tell us a bit about the stories you tell?
DH: They are short stories, written in a prose style but designed to be narrated. They have a few jokes, a few witty turns of phrase and a lot of heart. We aim to cover all the major emotions. Thematically this show explores sentimentality, the meaning we attach to our belongings and the nature of stories themselves.

CM: Can you tell us a bit about the music – how would you describe it in terms of style or genre?
MG: Well my thing is folk. I’ve been doing it so long, I’m not sure how much else I’d write even if I tried. Having said that, some of it has a bluesier, jazzier flavour and maybe something a little bit like a shanty. A little bit.

DH: Classical fans will notice a baroque number referenced too.

CM: You’ve performed at the Fringe before, haven’t you? What makes you want to come back again?
DH: A deep yearning to be hurt, unresolved trauma and dreams that refuse to die…

MG: This isn’t therapy David.

DH: Okay fine. Well I’ve come as both a student and now as a semi-functioning adult human. And the experience is so different every time. But there’s just nothing like it at all in the world. So much creativity and inspiration, so many incredible performers from all over the world. Why wouldn’t you keep coming back?

MG: It can also, sometimes, be super fun!

CM: What do you like about being in Edinburgh for the Festival? Are there specific downsides?
MG: It’s amazing being so absorbed in art of all kinds and meeting like-minded spirits, seeing shows and being inspired. The city has this almost tangible vibe in the air. But, it is a pretty intense time when bringing a show.

DH: No downside beyond those nagging insecurities.

CM: Aside from performing, what are you most looking forward to about being in the Festival city this summer?
DH: As Matt said, the chance to see shows is always exciting. Our venue Zoo has such an incredible programme, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend some of the shows there.

On the first day we saw Graeme Leak, who’s a musician but his show is so much more… hypnotic and magical. And that’s the other great thing about Edinburgh – meeting new friends and catching up with old ones.

CM: Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves now? Did you always wish to pursue careers in the entertainment world? How did you come to be working together?
DH: Would you say we have careers?

MG: Ha. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. David and I have been involved in other projects, but this one started as an idea in 2011. David was doing sketch comedy, I was busking and we started saying we could or should create some kind of music/theatre/comedy/storytelling hybrid. The shows we have brought to the Fringe in 2018 and now 2022 are a result of those potentially ill advised ideas…

DH: I suppose I’ve always longed to be in this world. I fell in love with performing and stories when I was very young, and it’s a real joy to have found this outlet with Matt.

CM: The lockdown hit everyone hard of course – what impact did it have on you and your career progress?
DH: Well this show was meant to be for 2020, so in a very tangible way it’s delayed plans by two years. But it also gave us a chance to spend more time crafting it. It wasn’t ideal and was very demoralising. And you never know what might have happened differently.

On a positive note though, it makes us incredibly grateful to just be here performing to humans and sharing our art with people.

MG: I went part-time with the day job about two months before, which turned out to be a bit mistimed…

CM: What would you say have been the highlights of your careers thus far?
DH: So jointly our last Fringe ended on a real high, having started with zero audience members our show built to a final sell-out night, and we were lucky enough to garner great reviews along the way. Such euphoria. Fingers crossed we are that fortunate this time around.

MG: Yeah that sell out felt fun. Why are all these people here? How did they find the show!? What do we do now it’s over?

DH: I also have some really fond memories of performing with the Durham Revue in my long-distant youth…

MG: And I’m in a band that got airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music – that was pretty great.

CM: What aims and ambitions do you have for the future?
DH: Right now it’s just about sharing this show with as many people as possible. Then possibly we’ll record it. We did that with our 2018 show ‘A Good Service On All Other Lines’ which is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts etc. Of course we’d also love Three Weeks to come and see the show!

CM: What’s coming up next for you after this?
MG: We’d love to take the show to other audiences, but nothing is in the diary yet. Survive the Fringe and then – the World!

DH: But immediately after talking to you we’re going to go and perform our third show! 11.25am at Zoo Southside. Come and join us!

‘Unwanted Objects’ was performed at Zoo Southside at Edinburgh Festival 2022.

LINKS: linktr.ee/thedavidandmatt | twitter.com/TheDavidandMatt

Photo: Matthew Kaltenborn