Gig Review: Matt Corby at the Limelight (13th November, 2012)


At the tender age of 22 Matt Corby’s heart bleeds lyrics into his songs while his voice leaves cherished scars on those who listen to him perform.

Tuesday 13th November saw Communion’s latest musical saviour Matt Corby stop by Limelight on his way into musical cult history. Entering the second half of his UK tour and showing no signs of fatigue the gig was no disappointment. He and his incredibly talented band mesmerised the venue into silence as the crowd hung on to every pluck, note and beat. The Australian, who some expected to deliver a powerful acoustic solo set, instead brought with him his exceptionally talented band- including the much sought after drummer Chris Mass, who has previously filled in with the likes of Mumford and Sons.

Corby’s  set was relatively short in comparison to some other artists, but at his age this is understandable, and the quality and diversity in what songs he has already crafted is something to behold. The stories behind the writing of the songs make them more penetrating and the passion behind them was clearly felt by the Limelight crowd.

“Brother”, perhaps Corby’s most popular song, was surprisingly slipped in mid-set and delivered with dramatic precision; his vocal range there for all to witness in awe. Songs such as; “Letters”, “Untitled”, “My False” and his Youtube-hit cover of The Black Keys- “Lonely Boy” brought with them their intensity and were met with deserving attention from those gathered.

Among the comparisons I heard, the most common was that of Jeff Buckley, a cult hero who brought the world Grace. Perhaps this comparison is not only lazy but a tad lofty.  Their general styles are similar and Corby makes no secret of his adoration for the late Buckley, but the composition of the band is quite different, and their presence on the stage with Corby as the star is powerful but, really, he doesn't even pretend to be close to Jeff Buckley.  He’s on the right tracks though, and these comparisons may have some weight in the future.

Limelight 2 is a small, intimate venue and something big happened that night.  I couldn't help but feel that there was something very special being born right in front of the Belfast crowd, and presumably throughout this tour. Keep an eye out for Matt Corby when he comes back; make sure you take him in.  He's a huge talent.