Imagine sitting in the evening sun listening to the smooth, underground jazz that is Matt Corby. His voice can take you anywhere and this is where I am right now.
When Matt Corby finally entered the Thebarton Theatre (28 April) he said nothing, and instead introduced himself in the best way he knew how. His deep soulful voice has the ability to take you places; in much the same way that it has taken him places, and rightfully so.
Dabbling in more genres than most other artists of his kind, Corby was keen to show his versatility. However, it was his air of jazz and blues which were most interesting. His voice was the pitch pipe for the whole performance and his band hung on every note, and never was a note dropped.
Old favourites were not left out: ‘Brother’, ‘Into The Flames’ and ‘Resolution’ all featured, but it was his undeniable ability to sing perfect trills and perform an almost melodic staccato that were truly mindblowing. At times, there was also a gospel energy that had all of the crowd bowing down to this magnificent voice.
‘Monday’ opened with the clicking and harmony of a church choir, and to be perfectly honest it left a melancholy and despondent pall hanging in the decorated ceiling roses. The smooth hum throughout the song made it so easy to imagine just melting away and slipping through the cracks in the old floor.
On almost the completely other end of the spectrum he also performed ‘Oh Oh Oh’; a song which is so solid in its staccato, yet so smooth at the same time. If you don’t know what I mean I suggest you give it a listen. Every word was important in this song making it one of the more easier to understand and more relatable songs of the night.
In typical Matt Corby fashion, he was a man of very few words. An excited fan shouted, “I love you”, and he replied simply with a quiet “cheers mate”, before he proceeded with his set list. Not even the hundreds of people standing in front of him could come between this shaggy-haired, laidback, Aussie boy and his music.
And when he was most vulnerable, standing alone without his guitar or flute to hide behind, he would stand swaying and bouncing almost unknowingly to the beat. Singing with his eyes closed and hands clasped front of his chest, constantly wringing them. Could this just be a nervous habit or is he trying to wring every last artistic morsel from his body for the benefit of the audience!? Whatever the answer, the clapping and cheering that filled the room at the end of every song could not be repudiated.
He closed the night with a folk-jazz cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘Change Gonna Come’, yet again highlighting his immense talent in vocal gymnastics. And once and for all proving that his days of ‘Australian Idol’ are far behind him.
He is an Australian indie-folk-soul-rock-blues-gospel singer who should simply never be denied.
Click here for photos from Matt's Brisbane show.