The former X Factor winner from the seventh series, yes that’s right two years ago now, is back and what welcomes him? A fully packed out venue and a pair of black undies!
It’s a modest and humble atmosphere tonight, with the odd smoke machine going and some low stage lights, but this simple production allows all the attention to be focused on the best thing that’s come out of a British talent competition; Matt Cardle.
"It’s been a journey," Matt tells the 1,000 capacity venue. And he’s right, his debut album Letters was certified gold with an estimate of 270,000 sales. Now he’s got the ball going for his second full length album The Fire due for release next week. Ahead of that release Matt is here tonight to do what he does best, sing his heart out.
At first glance Matt seems somewhat shy, looking more comfortable hiding behind his guitar. Then this mysterious man turns cheeky and charms all the ladies with ‘Anyone Else’, the sixth track off the new album. "I’ve had various women," the former X Factor champion jokes as a pair of black knickers are thrown towards him.
Matt acknowledges everyone that got him here tonight, from the fans who voted for him all those years ago to former label Syco. In appreciation of them he performs Letters, the album title track off his debut.
An obvious fan favourite already is ‘Empire’, which witnesses Matt launch in to the ridiculously catchy if not anthem-like chorus. In a previous interview Matt said "we definitely wrote [Empire] with playing that live in mind," and though the expectations were high he certainly met them. The track among others such as ‘All That Matters’ really showcase his dynamic vocal range. Matt doesn’t cease to amaze, hitting every note effortlessly.
Then there’s an unpredictable long pause. The crowd fades to silent and Matt, with a clearly emotional shaky tone in his voice, explains another new track ‘Water’ referring to "this one’s for Dickie, we all lose someone at some point but I actually lost this person, they’re not here anymore". It’s a beautiful, lighter in the air kind of moment. The track is in a higher octave revealing Matt’s undeniable vocal talent.
Thanking those who have supported him from the very start, "thank you to everyone who bought this one," Matt says introducing his debut and X Factor winning single ‘When We Collide’ a cover of Scottish rock band – Biffy Clyro’s ‘Many Of Horror’. Now most covers get their nose turned down at, but this one is special. Sure his big break came from a television talent contest but putting his singing ability to one side, Matt also has his songs instrumentation going for him; playing guitar and piano in the majority of his songs.
Another nice surprise comes in the form of his rendition of Gotye- ‘Somebody That I Use To Know’ then for a storming exit Matt closes the set with ‘It’s Only Love’ as he smiles while looking around at the room full of faces mouthing the lyrics straight back at him.