Matt Cardle @ The New Theatre, Oxford - 04 March 2012
Tears, emotion and knickers as Matt Cardle wows Oxford
We’re in Oxford for the third night of X-Factor 2010 winner Matt Cardles’ debut UK tour where he is in town promoting his debut album, Letters, an album which, let’s face it, dropped into our laps without the usual X-Factor fanfare. Despite that being the case, the New Theatre is almost full to capacity as the one-time painter took to the stage and showed precisely why painting some old biddies lounge is a complete waste of his talents.
Now, the last time Safeconcerts bumped into the X-Factor winner, he was outside the LG Arena in Birmingham “having a cig” before he went on stage. There have been a few TV appearances since then but, as he thanks Oxford again for turning up and giving him the opportunity to play his songs, it’s clear that the singer-songwriter hasn’t lost any of that humble appreciation for the people who pay their money to see him and, as one voice screeches out from the darkness, Cardle smiles and quietly replies “I love you too”. One of the more laid back pop stars we’ve encountered recently, Cardle looks totally at ease playing songs like "Softly" and "Faithless" despite the clearly personal nature of his material. "All For Nothing" is as breathtaking and powerful as it is on the album while both "Starlight" and "Pull Me Under" are delivered with the kind of emotion which has Cardle holding back the tears on a number of occasions.
Despite his new-found celebrity status, Cardle also has a unique connection with his band and, as well as being clearly happy to give them the limelight for a bit, it’s nice to see him regularly acknowledging them with a nod or two throughout the set. By the time he runs through his version of “When We Collide”, the excitement has become too much for one fan who launches a pair of knickers at the singer.
Cardle simply smiles, hangs the garment off his guitar, thanks Oxford again and continues on with the song which started this whole amazing journey off.