Over the years, Matt Corby’s ability to evolve has become hugely evident. Performing to a sold out audience in Stylus, he is unrecognisable from the 15 year old who came runner up on Australian Idol back in 2007. Even compared to his previous EPs, he has shifted again, moving away from the predominantly acoustic feel to create bigger songs with a more soulful edge.
He came onto the stage alone, opening with ‘Monday’, from his album Telluric, which is out on the 11th March. The track is the softest and most stripped back of the new material he played, made up by looping harmonies. Immediately charming the crowd he apologised for making a mistake which the audience probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway. Unfortunately the problem persisted and after restarting several times, he eventually just left the loops as they were. A self-professed perfectionist, two years ago he scrapped a whole album, and it was obvious this little mistake made him unhappy; yet for me it was a welcome reminder that he is actually a human – something that’s slightly tricky to comprehend when faced with his angel-like voice and looks to match.
After the opening song, his band joined him on stage to play a set predominantly made up of new material. Third track, ‘Knife Edge’, highlighted the range of his vocals as he switched from soft falsettos into powerful vocals on the chorus. The new material is clearly a step-up, with much more emphasis on the technicalities of instrumentals but old tracks like ‘Resolution’ and ‘Brother’ received the biggest reception, something that I’m sure will change after his album is released next week.
After cheers for an encore, the band came back on to perform a new track with jazzy piano before finishing with a beautiful rendition of ‘Born by the River’: a perfect end to the show with soul-soothing vocals.
photo: Dan Curwin