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New GM promises cracking Christmas & knock-out New Year at Kent pub

A pub professional with a passion for live music is taking on his first General Manager’s position with independent family brewer, Shepherd Neame, in time for the party season.

Matt Green will take over as General Manager at the Faversham-based brewer’s Market House pub in central Maidstone today (December 1) – and he already has the line-up planned for a cracking Christmas and a knock-out New Year.

Maidstone born and bred Matt started working in pubs in the County Town at the age of 19 and has never looked back, joining the team at the pub in Earl Street in its previous incarnation as Earl’s, and continuing to the position of Deputy Manager when Shepherd Neame took it on in 2017.

Matt remarked, “Earl’s had a great live music scene – I was a bit of a ‘metalhead’ back then – and that fostered a love of live music in me.

“Earl’s was a great little community pub in the middle of a busy town. We have tried to continue that sense of community at the Market House, as well as of course continuing and extending the live music it offers.”

Having introduced acoustic live music on Sundays when the pub was Earl’s, he has continued booking bands and keeping the pub’s thriving live music scene buzzing.

“I have always been the one who managed the music side of things,” Matt said. “And since Covid there has been a thirst for live entertainment. When live music came back, people were quite nervous about coming out but it was great to see people up and enjoying themselves at the same time.

“That’s my favourite thing – working behind the bar and watching people enjoy the music and having a good time.”

And that includes this New Year’s Eve when the pub and its guests will see the New Year in with The Paper Castles. Matt expanded, “It will be free entry and the live music will go right through to seeing the New Year in. They are a young band – they are slowly becoming one of the most popular bands around. It should be a great night.”

He already has the Market House’s music calendar throughout 2023 organised, which includes hosting performances as part of the Maidstone Fringe Festival, which will return at the end of April. And his passion for local live music means he hopes to give young up and coming bands the chance to perform more in the future.

Under outgoing General Manager Philippe Laché, Matt has also been developing his managerial skills, and said, “Philippe supported me to do more on the managerial side of things. He really brought that passion.”

Philippe bids a fond farewell to the town centre pub to run a bar with his wife in Lanzarote.

The Market House offers live music every weekend as well as a stylish interior and rooftop terrace. Its menu ranges from small tapas-style plates to delicious dishes, cooked using fresh, local ingredients where possible, and paired with international lagers, local real ales and modern spirits.

Dishes include Firecracker Chicken, made with a sticky, Asian-spiced BBQ sauce and served with basmati rice, aromatic satay sauce and peanut carrot salad, and for vegetarians, the Happy Planet award-winning Oumph! soya burger, with crispy onions, smoked vegan back and cheese, mayonnaise and tandoori ketchup.