Review: Matt Corby at Engine Rooms, Southampton

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The night of Saturday 12th March was spent down at a sold-out Engine Rooms being blown away by one of the most powerful live voices I’ve witnessed in a long time.

Australian indie-rock artist Matt Corby‘s new album Telluric was released on Friday 11th, meaning there was some serious listening on loop before the gig. This is his newest material in two years so fans were absolutely delighted to see his return. The adoration seemed to radiate from the crowd for Matt, with many cheers and shouts exclaiming their love for the man himself.

It was Birmingham-based Chartreuse who filled the support slot, setting the tone beautifully with ethereal sounds clashing against dramatic bass and drums. Separately, male vocalist Michael’s voice sounded Noah and the Whale-esque while singer Harriet rivalled Rae Morris’ impressive heights when pushed. Together, the two different pitches and tones created something special, more like another instrument.

Corby opened with ‘Belly Side Up’, a smooth, syncopated song that allowed his vocal range to be fully demonstrated from the off. ‘Knife Edge’, a tune from the new album, came next: haunted house sounding background noises and dramatic, pushing vocals showcased a new side to Corby, before merging into a slower, stripped back ‘Do You No Harm’. The first single released from the album, ‘Monday’, was performed with the help of a loop pedal, creating layers of eerie tones with a distinctive gospel feel thanks to the simple clicking beat. ‘Sooth Lady Wine’, another new track, had everyone grooving along to the psychedelic sounds and ending in a jazzy jam session, complete with flute playing from the main man himself.

The real fun started with ‘Resolution’, a 2013 favourite that had the entire crowd bouncing about with glee. The power in Matt’s voice caused audience members to be left visibly shocked and impressed, mouths wide open at the sound reverberating around the room. Another crowd pleaser ‘Brother’ had us all “ooh”ing along – a mix of male, female, old and young in the audience highlighting how diverse Matt Corby’s fans are.

Being completely captured seemed to be a recurring event throughout the night, whether in awe at the range of notes belted out or left with goosebumps galore after the soulful acoustic numbers. The contrast between deep, punching tones and delicate, barely there sounds left the audience spellbound at what we had just witnessed.

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Third year Crim/Psych student and 7Boner

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