TMC’s Top Five

August 28 marked five years since most of us laid eyes (and ears) on Matt for the very first time – his audition in front of the X Factor panel was aired on that date in 2010… and the rest is history.


Team Matt Cardle was created shortly thereafter – in September 2010. We can’t be completely sure of the date as we are rubbish at remembering that sort of thing and, in any case, the current team took over from the founder about two and a half years later. [Edit: We’ve since discovered that it was the 26th… which we will no doubt promptly forget!]


At last week’s #cardlecatchup (every Sunday evening – don’t miss it!), we asked our followers what their top five moments from the past five years were. Predictably, there was a wide range of answers, from Matt’s Bootcamp performance of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and winning X Factor, through numerous live events and tours, album releases and taking on a starring role in Memphis.


We weren’t really intending to do a top five of our own, but after being prompted by @CardleLive, we thought it might make a nice little anniversary post. Taking inspiration from the fact that the vast majority of people’s choices consisted of seeing Matt live and thinking about defining moments in Matt’s career, it took a lot less time and wrangling than we expected to come up with our list, which we present to you now…


In chronological order (because ranking them really would be too hard!):


  1. Koko 03.10.2011. Almost four years ago now, this was not only the launch of the Letters album but also of Matt’s post-XF career. It was a showcase for his song-writing, musicianship and extraordinary voice, supported by an outstanding band. Opening with a spine-tingling rendition of the title track, he had the audience in the palm of his hand from the get-go.

And driving home the point that he could rock out with the best of them, Matt finished off the set by unleashing his now-legendary cover of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Uninvited’ (we even wrote a blog about it here). The message was loud and clear: Matt was here to stay.


  1. High Barn, 30.06.2012 and 01.07.2012. In some ways, this was the flip-side of Koko. Playing at High Barn was a return to Matt’s Essex roots, a venue he had played several times before X Factor and where he felt at home – among friends such as best mate Ali and the Bullens. For those lucky enough to be drawn in the ticket lottery (and not get lost in back-country lanes along the way), this was a privileged glimpse into Matt’s pre-XF world. Musically, songs were stripped down to their component parts and delivered simply as though the barn’s centuries-old beams dictated it. A forerunner of future acoustic sets.


  1. Porcelain Tour, April 2014. With Matt having completed an addiction treatment program less than three months prior, there was some doubt as to whether this tour would go ahead as planned. It did, and we saw the “new” Matt – fitter, healthier, happier and more comfortable in his own skin (as well as a kilt!). The band were reunited (with one line-up change on bass), sounding mature and confident, and the songs took on new dimensions. Considering the events of the previous months, it was a celebration not only of Matt’s music but also of his perseverance and we were happy to sing along with him… bar the high notes!

Read our special correspondents’ report here.


  1. Band interviews, August 2014 – February 2015. OK, this one is “personal” to TMC – we were just so pleased that Paul, Lorenzo, Remy, Tom and Matt took some time out to give us a bit of insight into their lives and music.

Read ’em here.


  1. Memphis, July–October 2015. We’re still in the midst of this one and in awe of Matt’s willingness to throw himself into, essentially, the unknown. Through hard work and calling on previously untapped areas of his remarkable talent, he’s proved himself worthy of all the praise he has received from even the harshest critics. Hockadoo, Matt – hockadoo!

We gushed about it a few weeks ago here.



Looking back has made us very optimistic about the future, knowing that Matt can do whatever he sets his mind to, as he has continually shown over the past five years. No doubt he will surprise us, and perhaps even himself from time to time!