No, not the television show, but an artist who emerged through something similar. Last night I heard Matt Corby perform at the Forum Theatre, his third sell-out Melbourne show of his Winter tour.
I’ve been a Matt fan since way back when, supporting him through Idol from start to finish. Girls across the country fell in love with his bright blue eyes, big smile and boy-fringe, myself included. But I also had an appreciation for his voice. The Voice. I believe that’s what made him special, despite winning many fans for his looks. A friend, S, shared my love for Matt Corby, and we’d avidly discuss him, his performances, and his voice for hours on end. A lot of our peers decided he was just a faze Australian teenagers were going through. But S and I knew otherwise.
Shortly after his long stint on Idol, he came to Melbourne’s outer north for a gig. We sat out in the rain, got autographs and loved every minute of it. Matt then hit the road on the Winner’s Journey tour. We watched 17 year old Matt at The Palms, with tickets we’d purchased as soon as they went on sale. Some things never change.
As Matt’s public face diminished, S and I connected with his Official Fan Club. Through this, we saw Matt perform at small, ‘intimate’ venues, organised by his loyal, true blue fans. The shows were interactive, he was still a boy, an interesting mix of humble and proud of his achievements.
More autographs, happy snaps and brief encounters, S and I maintained our dedication. I’ve missed one major gig of Matt’s as it was a one of in Sydney. S went. I was jealous. The end.
Time passed and Matt and his band travelled and worked with international artists and producers. Toward the end of 2011, radio station Triple J caught onto the piece, Brother. Slowly, it gained commercial appeal, and ended up as a close third in the 2011 Triple J Hottest 100 awards.
In the past six months I’ve heard Matt and his band on four occasions. His fan base has grown dramatically since reemerging as a commercial-alternative artist, but S and I feel like we’re part of an elite crew who’ve ‘been with him from Day One’. Maybe we just like to feel special, privileged… but we feel like we have some ownership over his success. Real fans will learn the lyrics to all an artist’s songs. Hearing the crowd go wild as Matt sings the infamous ‘Ohhweeo ohhweeo’ introduction to Brother is actually kind of annoying now.
LEARN SOME OTHER LYRICS, PEOPLE.
Matt Corby and his band are such versatile musicians, it’s almost a shame he’s become a commercial talent. Still, you have the girls with their mother or their boyfriend, who’ve been dragged along to watch another man woo their girl, that refuse to squeal at any other tune. It’s just irritating because Matt Corby has the vocal capacities on par with Jeff Buckley. Yes, I said it. He does. But Buckley was regarded as a musician, not just a popular singer.
I just hope Matt Corby can retain his stance as a musician, too. Next time I see him the crowd will know lyrics to two of his songs. His new single, Soul’s A Fire is getting increased airplay as we speak.
S and I will probably go to every one of Matt’s gig for the rest of time. That’s dedication.