"The haunting, "Ooh-ooh-wooh!" vocal intro for Brother gets fans scrambling for their phones to capture the moment; that song would be hard to beat in anyone's repertoire."
Matt Corby enters the stage space solo, looking like a coastal ragamuffin in loose-fitting clothes, long-sleeved t-shirt and sun-kissed shoulder-length bronde waves.
His opener, new single Monday, sees vocals building and swirling around looped finger snaps. His is one of those rare voices that needs no instrumental accompaniment, but his backing band of five enter, forming a half-circle behind the singer for song two as the clicking loop continues. It's so rammed down the front of the crowd that punters hold up their smartphones, placing them at odd angles to maximise their view via phone screens. Most singers excel in a specific mode or register, but Corby is like a lot of vocalists' best moments all stitched together. He presents a lot of new material, then What The Devil Has Made (written especially for surf documentary Spirit Of Akasha) enters the setlist and channels Tame Impala - Corby can definitely pull off psychedelia. Similar to the frontman of aforementioned band, Corby doesn't really project to the venue's back wall, or even make eye contact with the crowd, yet his energy can be felt, especially when lit by a single spotlight. Resolution earns a sing-along, but Corby's emotion makes some uncomfortable and a female (ridiculously) heckles, "Take it off!"
Corby's vocal riffing evokes the great Stevie Wonder. There's even flute in one new number and the flautist/pianist later demonstrates delicious BVs. The haunting, "Ooh-ooh-wooh!" vocal intro for Brother gets fans scrambling for their phones to capture the moment; that song would be hard to beat in anyone's repertoire. "It's been really nice playing for you all," Corby says before laughing nervously. He then finishes with "another new guy", as he calls it. During this song, Corby himself plays some flute. A segment of Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come showcases the soulful side of Corby's effortless singing and is also prophetic given the artist's next album is bound to shift the mega-units. All musicians leave the stage. House lights go up, but punters linger. There's a lot of hands to faces and exclamations of, "That was amazing!" Corby is an artist with the potential for true longevity, so thank goodness he didn't punch out too much output too soon.