Review: Matt Cardle + support Roxanne Emery - HMV Hammersmith Apollo



Thursday 29th March: There was a highly electric atmosphere at the Apollo on Thursday night for the final night of Matt Cardle's Letters 2012 Tour. The audience had a huge buzz about it, varying in ages and all had come in anticipation to witness last years X Factor winner doing what he does best - and that is blow the roof off with his quite stunning vocals. But more about Matt in a moment...

Roxanne Emery
Supporting the tour is a great singer called Roxanne Emery, who had the audience settling down to a great evening of live music. Roxanne's vocals have a delicate tone mixed with a country rasping twang - sort of a cross between Diana Vickers and Janet Devlin with a touch of Sophie Ellis-Bextor thrown in. Sounds odd on paper, but on the ears it is delightful to listen to... a name to watch out for this year I feel.

After the interval, it was who everyone was here to see - Matt Cardle. Starting off with the lights in the audience to get the fever pitch anticipation even higher, the band start, drums pounding, guitars grinding and Matt enters the stage to rapturous applause. The band sound great, very tight, a good mix, crisp and clear, and Matt's vocals soar along with the very talented band.

Without a doubt, the jaw-dropping number of the gig is The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face). When we first reviewed the gig back in York at the start of the tour, our reviewer Ian Donaghy said "His falsetto was crystal clear and faultless and could have made Minnie Ripperton cower" - and I have to agree, absolutely mind-blowing vocals. The audience agreed too, with a standing ovation for the number, and Matt had a few tears in return from the admiration he got.

With a sold out Hammersmith Apollo at his disposal, we didn't get any giant video screens, high production lighting and audio - visual wizadry, as it simply doesn't need it. With this, you get raw talent, stripped back right in front of you, and Matt sings from his experiences, with the emotions often showing in his songs and delivery. It is much better to see a singer of this calibre performing live, than on the over-produced reality shows where they start off, as they often don't do a singer the justice they actually deserve.

A fantastic night of music, both Roxanne and Matt having fab voices, and supported by fine musicians - it's the recipe for a great show. Well done to all.