Rediscovering the Soul of Rock: Govey/Matthew’s “JUSTICE XXIII”

Every so often, a track emerges that defies the conventions of its time, resonating deeply with listeners and evoking a sense of nostalgia. Today, we delve into the world of Govey/Matthew, a duo that has managed to capture the essence of a bygone era of rock music, reminding us of the days when an album was an experience, not just a collection of tracks. Their song, “JUSTICE XXIII,” is a heartfelt tribute, a journey, and a testament to the power of storytelling through music.

Paul Govey and David Matthew, the old school friends behind this evocative track, have a shared passion for rock legends like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones. These iconic bands helped shape their theatrical, rock-ballad style, characterized by musical storytelling. However, it’s not just their influences that make their music stand out. It’s the raw emotion, personal experiences, and stories they weave into their track, “JUSTICE XXIII.”

Their journey began at Stamford School in Lincolnshire, where they formed a band called Hotel 12. Although the band disbanded after school, Govey and Matthew continued to write and record together, nurturing their passion for music that tells a story from beginning to end, creating an emotional experience for the listener.

The song “JUSTICE” was rediscovered during the solitude of the Covid lockdown, holding poignant significance, especially for David Matthew, as a touching tribute to his late father. Initially recorded on a four-track cassette recorder, the song was later revisited and professionally recorded in 2022, as a homage to David’s father, a massive Pink Floyd fan.

David recounts, “Sadly during lockdown, my 86-year-old father passed away, and I wasn’t able to even say goodbye to him due to the then imposed restrictions on travel. I played the original demo tape of ‘JUSTICE’ and remembered it was his favorite track of ours. Paul and I knew we had to record it properly in his honor.”

This decision led to the creation of “JUSTICE (Remastered 2022)” and later, “JUSTICE XXIII,” released in March 2023. The latter version offered an improved balance and removed the soundscape at the beginning, enhancing its overall impact.

“JUSTICE XXIII,” is designed to take the listener on a roller-coaster of emotions and tell a story. David explains, “The track was written as a theatrical drama because it felt at the time that I was personally living in a true-life drama.” The song’s slow, reflective beginning builds to a crescendo of rage and concludes with a calm acceptance, mirroring the stages of grief and loss.

The emotive lyrics, slower tempos, and powerful crescendos stem from deep personal experiences and raw emotions. David reflects, “JUSTICE was written many years ago after a personal break-up and the passing of my mother. The lyrics reflect my feelings of being unfairly and emotionally punished despite showing love.”

Paul Millsopp masterfully performed the guitar solos in the song, reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, while the orchestral strings and choirs add a rich layer to the overall composition, ensuring the track’s melodramatic essence is maintained, without overpowering the rock elements.

With a massive amount of plays across Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, “JUSTICE XXIII” has garnered significant traction through organic growth. The duo’s ability to resonate with listeners worldwide speaks to the timeless quality of their music. Looking ahead, Govey/Matthew hopes to leverage this momentum to broaden their musical horizons and make a more profound impact. “We write and record our music just for fun – it’s an added bonus for us if other people like it and play it,” declare the duo.

 The performers on “JUSTICE XXIII” are Paul Govey (Music Writer, Acoustic/Guitar, Bass), David Matthew (Lyrics, Lead Vocals), Paul Millsopp (Lead Guitar, Producer and Arrangement), Paul Chapman (Drums) and Sarah Millsopp (Backing Vocals). The track was recorded at Hammer Studios, Wigan. Experience the journey of the track and let it take you to a place where music is more than just a sound – it’s an emotional experience.


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