Two years after the release of his debut album Telluric, Matt Corby announced to the world what he had been up to, with the release of his second studio album Rainbow Valley. The hugely successful album delivered in true Corby fashion, with singles ‘Miracle Love’ and ‘All Fired Up’ helping launch Rainbow Valley to number four on the Aria Charts in its first week.
Hot on the heels of this record, he embarked on its name sake tour, playing dates in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
On the 9th of April, Corby and his band took to the hills of Flinders University to ply their master craft. Along for the ride were fresh-faced Melbourne soul-stress Eliott, and Sydney based future soul artist and producer, Blessed.
A decent crowd braved Adelaide’s first cold snap of the year and warmed the chilly University Plaza with enthusiasm and piping hot Grandes from the over worked barista. The newly built amphitheatre was soon brought to life by the electronic, soulful stylings of Eliott, whose beyond-her-years production skills contrasted beautifully with the raw heartfelt lyrics delivered by a voice with the power and seasoned confidence reminiscent of Adele.
The 22 year old made way for Sydney future-soul producer, Blessed. I hesitate to describe his flavour as soul, as he delivered tracks with lo-fi lyrical rawness that has seen the rise of Soundcloud rappers into the mainstream, backed by instrumentals upbeat, bass heavy and distorted enough to get the cold feet moving.
And on the topic of cold feet, I can see a market for ankle warmers and knee patches at gigs with the blokes showing off more skin than the ladies, and paying for it with frost bite. I must be showing my age.
Well and truly warmed up by a heady mix of Blessed, chai and beers, the punters surged the stage with the entrance of Matt Corby and his touring band. Taking centre stage behind his keyboard and percussion pieces, the multi-platinum, multi-instrumentalist wasted no time with niceties and launched into ‘Light My Dart Up’.
Corby showed how he has matured since his debut album, dishing out beautifully melancholic vocals in a hauntingly Nick Cave-esque style. In quite a juxtaposition, he further showed off the exploration of his vocal range, made famous in the disco era by the brothers Gibb. The set list was expertly crafted to show the new album off in all its glory, with his big singles evenly spaced to keep the not-so-diehard fans singing along.
Just when I thought 7 out of 10 of my fingers would be lost to frostbite, his encore of ‘Miracle Love’ got the blood pumping and the crowd singing. This is what my two step- daughters came for!
Whilst they were in awe of his talents, for someone who has seen Matt Corby multiple times, I didn’t expect anything less than the perfect performance that was delivered, although the teenage girls would have liked a bit more interaction to get the hearts fluttering.
Corby and Rainbow Valley was well supported by his band, and showed how far he has come as an artist from Telluric and the heady heights of 2012’s ‘Brother’. His next evolution will be very interesting to hear given the growth he has made in just two albums.
Given this latest release, Corby has all the hallmarks of carving himself a long career of whisking us away with his heartfelt soulful tunes.
Australian Idol cannot take credit for this.
Reviewed by Kieran Newbold
Pictures by Kay Cann