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Live Review: Matt Corby, R W Grace

2 May 2016 | 4:30 pm | Stephanie Oakes

"...the screams were deafening as the man himself meandered onto the stage shrouded in darkness."

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The grand setting of Adelaide's iconic Thebarton Theatre staged a night of simple magic for those who flocked to witness the much anticipated live rendition of Telluric, Matt Corby's debut LP.

Regular touring partner RW Grace — voice plus brooding, rumbling guitar — was captivating as the support. Stripping away the usual electronic side of her music, you could not hear another voice in the room during her first three songs and the crowd was mesmerised. As the floor filled, chatter grew louder but she still commanded the audience and no doubt secured a few new fans who may have missed her last time. Raucous applause met the Perth musician after each song and she ended on a melancholic rendition of Robyn's Dancing On My Own (with a little influence from Alex Turner's brooding guitar throw in). All boxes were ticked, although it was the same set closer from her Adelaide show with Corby only six months ago. 

The 40-minute interval flew by and the screams were deafening as the man himself meandered onto the stage shrouded in darkness. Supported in a semi-circle by his five-piece backing band, notably featuring his long-time collaborator Bree Tranter from The Middle East on keys and flute, Corby drew the crowd in with help from a mind-blowingly beautiful light show that featured the Telluric artwork swirling gently in the background. Contrary to the LP's title, the night felt ethereal from the start, with the music and Corby's raw vocals speaking for themselves.

Knife Edge featured early on with Corby in the centre of the stage, hands clasped and eyes shut for the majority of the time, his voice heard from every corner of the room. It was only on the fourth track that he reached for the guitar, treating the crowd to 2013 favourite, Resolution.

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A loop pedal brought Monday to life, with Corby's deep crooning and finger clicking creating a rivetingly dizzy journey. There was absolutely minimal crowd interaction and it seems that with each of Corby's shows, the banter unfortunately diminishes a little each time. His act becomes more polished with every tour, but his cheeky humour and storytelling used to be a crowd favourite in shows past.

The only tiny negative of the night was the feeling of a predetermined encore — when the band leaves without a thank you and the stage lights stay on. Corby returned to play Sam Cooke's 1964 A Change Is Gonna Come, the same song that ended his November show. Souls A'Fire would have been the perfect end to the night — encores aren't needed when the entire set is filled with magic from beginning to end.