Ever look at your favourite musician in complete awe and just wonder WHERE that voice comes from? Enter extremely modest Australian singer-songwriter Matt Corby: a man of few words in-between songs in a very, very warm Village Underground in Shoreditch. But an absolute powerhouse right from the moment he takes to centre stage.
What he holds back in conversation he more than makes up for in performance, kicking off with the mesmerising ‘Belly Side Up’, opening track from debut album Telluric, quickly having the sold-out crowd completely under his spell with his soothing, gravelly vocals. Although relatively plain and simple on stage, there’s something enigmatic about his presence, as he moves comfortably between strumming the guitar in crowd favourite ‘Resolution’ and tinkling on the flute here and there, and you quickly come to realise that although there are plenty of slow-builders throughout his set, there’s no such thing as a dull moment here.
As backed up by the guy at the back of the room shouting “OH WHAT A TUNE” during the intro to every song, Corby smashed through belter after belter from Telluric, ad-libbing his way by adding his sultry vocal acrobatics to ‘Wrong Man’ and hitting impressive heights during the powerful chorus of jazzy ‘Knife Edge’ – pretty much having everyone in the house swooning by the halfway point.
And that was all before top single ‘Monday’ came around; As the lights dim to a single spotlight and the rest of the band leave the stage, all that’s left is the main man as he opens with a simple finger clicking – which grows into one of the most intimate moments in the set as he showcases what his impressive vocals can really do. With beautiful choral vocals it almost feels like a number for church, and it definitely brings with it a whole new atmosphere as the audience hum and sway along, hanging on his every poetic word.
After a cheerful rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to a member of his band, Corby closes with an epic fifteen minute encore comprising of laidback ‘Why Dream’, the deeply thought-provoking ‘Empires Attraction’, and rounding up with a version of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ that came from a place so deep inside that you could see a desperate young man calling for a better world. It certainly ended on a poignant note – this is a guy that has something to say, and has mastered the art of saying it.