26 Mar 2016

Matt Corby @ Birmingham O2 Institute (live review)

Matt Corby returned to the O2 Institute on Tuesday 8th March to play a triumphant, yet strikingly humble show.

Chartreuse opened the evening with a mellow and accomplished set, their soulful pop infecting the room and setting the tone for the rest of the night. Their sound was really good, they filled the room entirely and were pretty captivating paired with their swirling light show. I'd never heard of these guys before, which is odd, considering how good they were and the fact that they are Birmingham based. They have a well-developed sound, and are definitely a band that are going places.
Matt Corby took to the stage, shrouded in mystery and with an unassuming air about him, but completely and utterly mesmerising at the same time. He played a lot of material from upcoming debut album, Telluric, that all sounded seamless, transitioning from one song to the next in the set effortlessly. I have never heard a voice like his live, it fills up the room like honey, trapping you there and demanding that you listen. It was rasping and full of range, each note more impressive than the last, at points you could see his band sit back and watch as he ran through his range, adlibbing with plenty of vibrato, just because he can. Honestly, at points you stood there, shaking your head in disbelief because you couldn't understand how someone could do that with their voice.

He stunned the room into silence, there were always a few seconds after each song as people allowed what they had just seen to sink in, before erupting into applause. The band were also insanely good, all fantastic musicians who blew me away. One of the highlights of the night was when Matt Corby took to the stage alone, he attempted to play Monday, with just his voice and loop pedal, and it didn't quite work. He started again and it was incredible, but still not-quite-right, and it showed what a perfectionist this guy is. He has this brazen raw energy and talent, that he is still trying to wrangle into submission and capture. He oozes with passion, it's infectious, he hypnotised the room, you could barely take your eyes off him, for fear you might miss a moment. I saw him in November, and since then, somehow, he has improved tenfold. Funkier, groovier numbers such as Knife's Edge and Trick of the Light got people moving, but there was still that impressed stillness in the crowd. Everyone was there to appreciate the talent, the music. Resolution and Brother of course got the biggest and best reaction, everyone attempting to sing along, but never keeping up with his voice.

Matt Corby is somewhat of a reluctant superstar, he could be huge, with his voice and looks, he would have made it big after being runner up in Australian Idol at 16, but that is not him. This is Matt Corby, this crazy soulful sound he has crafted, that sounds like no one else. He is completely fantastic, and slightly bewildering. If you ever get to see Matt Corby, GET TICKETS, BE BLOWN AWAY. This guy is slowly yet surely carving a name out for himself, he is genuinely one of the most talented and exciting musicians out there at the moment. I'm hoping that soon, he gets the recognition he truly deserves.

Words: Rach Tindall