Jack Penate got himself a hip producer in Jim Abbiss -- who had previously worked with the Arctic Monkeys, Editors, and Kasabian -- and released his debut album, Matinee, in the autumn of 2007. He already had the dance moves, the loud shirts, and an interesting set on the London club scene, so here was a chance to show that the music was worthy, too. With a singing style in the cockney accent of Lily Allen or Kate Nash, he differentiated himself from these singers by actually playing the guitar himself, with mixture of skiffle and ska, especially on the hit single "Torn on the Platform." Matinee included all the tracks that he had been performing live for over a year, including "Got My Favourite...," which had originally been released as a limited-edition 7" single, and "Spit at Stars," the lead track from his debut EP release. It wasn't all skiffle-style guitar, though -- the track "Run for Your Life," about an attempting mugging, gave the impression of running away to a pounding beat. The ballad "My Yvonne" was a plea from the heart, and "We Will Be Here" was a song with many different tempos, the verse opening as a heartfelt ballad and the chorus pumping the beat, and it introduced strings on a track for the first time. The backing music on both "Made of Codes" and "Second, Minute or Hour," which was the second official single, was very similar to the Housemartins' 1980s hit "Happy Hour," and the album ended with the mournful "When We Die," the titular phrase repeated over and over until fade-out, and a hidden track, "Picture Frames," which was an extension of the earlier song "Learning Lines."
AllMusic Review by Sharon Mawer