Matt Cardle at Whelan’s (Review)
Matt Cardle played Whelan’s on Wednesday night, the 24th of April. He took to the stage amid screams of delight and professions of love from his demographically one-dimensional audience. No harm in that – marketing must be a breeze. In fact, the 30-year-old Englishman has probably the most rigour and fuel of all contributions made by Simon Cowell and The Ecks-Factor to the world of music, endorsed by his signing to the Columbia label as well as Cowell’s Syco Music after winning the seventh run of the show. He has since released two albums: ‘Letters’ in 2011 and ‘The Fire’ 2012, under independent label, So What? Recordings. Three years, three labels, two albums.
Nevermind that. Coming from an indie-rocker environment previous to his televised successes, Cardle clearly has a bit more up his sleeve than Summery covers and vacuous Pop tunes. Opening with ‘Letters’, his boyish, crooning voice often reached falsetto, to the pleasure of the 40-year-old girls that packed the sold-out venue. He seemed to take genuine pleasure in his work; his avowal to take the crowd “on a journey, nothing spiritual, nothing weird” is suggestive of the professional ease with which he carries himself and his shows. Sadly, he was apparently unaware of the difficulties of speaking through a mic, which made the hellos and thank-yous sound a bit like the local carnival waltzers, ninety-nine out of a hundred times uncharacteristic of the Whelan’s sound system. ‘Let me hear you screeeaam!’
The night continued with an Alanis Morisette cover (‘Thank You’) and Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know I’m no Good,’ before launching into album material, and pulling out his version of Biffy Clyro’s ‘Many of Horror’ around the half-hour button. The falsetto that his voice may break into within a phrase helps to build the momentum that is the triumph of his songs. Cardle is a songster of amazing technical capabilities; very, very in control of the sanguine articulation that is his stamp, with an obviously soulful studio quality.
Review by Luke Etherton