Derbyshire musician speaks out about mental health challenges to encourage men to open up about struggles

A Derbyshire musician will share personal experiences of mental health issues in a live show aimed at getting people talking.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 12:47 pm

Matt McGuinness, a performer for 36 years, said: “Around two years ago, I inadvertently began to write, record, and perform material based on my own mental health challenges, including anxiety, panic attacks, lack of self-belief, parenting and more. The subject matter seemed to immediately resonate with audiences, forming the seeds of the show we have today.”

The ‘We Are What We Overcome’ live show includes personal, difficult, and humorous stories, interjected with original songs, performed by the Derbyshire-based four-piece indie rock ‘n’ roll band Matt McGuinness and the MLC (Mid-Life Crisis).

The band will be performing at Markeaton Park, Derby, on Saturday, September 11, Torr Vale Mills, New Mills on Sunday, September 12 and Melbourne Assembly Rooms on September 26. Shows start at 7.30pm.

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Matt McGuinness is raising awareness of mental health issues and how important it is to talk about them.

The three Derbyshire shows are previews for the national ‘We are What We Overcome’ tour, book, and album coming in 2022.

A main aim of the show is to reach out, especially to men, to encourage open communication about the most concerning subjects, including depression and suicide.

Each show includes an opportunity to come along early, have a chat with the band, or with two supporters of the project – The Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club These organisations will have stalls with information and volunteers available from 90 minutes before the show starts, through the interval, and after the show has ended to offer a safe, positive, and enjoyable opportunity to open up about a variety of mental health topics including suicide and depression.

Matt, who lives in Horsley Woodhouse, said: “Music is a powerful medium to get messages across. Mixed with comedy and chat, we think we have a winning combination.”

Matt McGuinness has bee performing as a musician for 36 years. Photo by David Wayman Visuals

Andrew Greenway, project development champion for Andy’s Man Club, said: “The more it is highlighted that talking about your issues is acceptable the better. Whether that be in a support club, such as Andy’s Man Club, or at an entertainment event such as Matt’s, the more chances people get to have those discussions, the more likely those stigmas will be broken down.”

Tickets for the three Derbyshire shows are available from

Matt McGuinness, top left, with Eileen Wright, Jo May and Dan Byrne.