It’s hard to review A Matt Cardle gig without having any preconceptions or judgements. The cheeky chappy who won the hearts of the nation but lost it all in the space of a year. Never the less I devoted myself whole heartedly to a live preview of Cardle’s new album Fire.
A slow start had my devotion edging for the door but soon Cardle opens up and almost treats the gig as a therapy session. He speaks of songs such as ‘Empire’ and title track ‘Fire’ being written when he was hopelessly in love. By the time he’d finished the album it seemed this was no longer the case. He mentions a few times of lost love, his break up that happened not so long ago.
The highlight of the evening was tear-jerker ’All That Matters’ – a song stripped back to Cardle and his guitar - plus his heart on his sleeve. The crowd clearly adore Cardle and his unwavering vocal abilities. His voice sounds smooth and refined and his rendition of ‘Many Of Horror’ had even the most dedicated of Biffy Clyro fans (me) feeling goosebumps under their skin.
It’s the new material we are here to see. And what of it? A large production set up, with dry ice and two backing singers cloud a true judgement of the new material offered. The highlights were with Matt, his guitar and his outstanding vocal ability. It would’ve been great to have the whole new album performed this way. There was something brewing in his new material. You might think Matt should be bittersweet or feeling sorry for himself, but this man still has a lot to sing for. I look forward to hearing his latest album on record soon, especially ‘All That Matters’, which is stuck under my skin - and that’s a good thing.