10 Reasons To ♥ Matt Cardle’s Intimate & Live Tour

Summer 2016 will always be synonymous among Matt’s fans as the summer of the Intimate & Live Tour – a reward for our patience ahead of the release of his much-anticipated fourth album. There was much to love about it – here are our top ten things…

  1. The venues

The tour visited a range of superb venues – as though Matt had a taste for the Shaftesbury Theatre environment and wanted to carry it with him. Whether historic (e.g. Shoreditch, Cambridge or Sheffield) or modern (e.g. Guildford, Horsham or Bury St Edmunds), each venue allowed the audience to enjoy a certain level of comfort while still feeling close to the action and connected to Matt, Paul and Tom.

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2. The set list

With no album to promote and this tour being “an extra” in the schedule, the set list had something for everyone to interest the new fans and please the old. There was a recognition of Matt’s X Factor past with Nights In White Satin, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and When We Collide; a demonstration of Matt’s unparalleled vocal delivery with I Can’t Make You Love Me, Bring Him Home and First Time (again); new songs for the eager and impatient, Blind Faith and Desire; sing-along feel-good moments with Starlight and When We Collide; and that rock feel for the band and electric guitar lovers with Slowly and Blue. All bases covered there.

Here’s the full set (and then some) from Bury St Edmunds:

3. The personnel

A new combination of Paul Bullen on keyboards and Tom Peters on drums gave a different sound and presentation to what we’ve seen before. The combinations of synth drum and real drum effects was particularly interesting. Add to that Dave the sound man, who seemingly had plenty to say to Matt through the ear piece during the show – “Wrong guitar, Matt!”, “Plug it in, Matt!” and “Wrong song, Matt!” probably being the cleaner versions of what went down. There was “always in shorts” Pete, who generally looked after Matt at the VIP events and was at stage side as required. We mustn’t forget Matt’s manager, Nathan Smith – then there was Dan the lighting man…

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Nathan, Marcus, Matt, Tom, Dave, Dan, Paul, Pete (credit: David Hall)

4. The lighting

The intimate and live experience was enhanced by a real attention to detail with the lighting. Whether it was the red beams during Ten/Ten, the glowing blue Eiffel Tower legs at the rear of the stage or the strobe effects at the end of the set, it was visually delicious. Matt had the Jesus light upon him at various points, adding to the angelic effect when those vocal chords hit perfection. (At this point, we won’t mention the swearing…)

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5. Marcus Valance

We were completely and utterly spoilt day after day with Marcus’s superb photography and his instinctive ability to capture the essence of Matt the performer – emotional, thoughtful, focused, fun; all shades of Cardle were encapsulated in that lens. His talents extended to singing his own tunes at some of the gigs and he was an absolute gent, too.

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(Credit: Marcus Valance)

6. The moves

From the early days of the Cardle Stomp and the choreography challenges from Brian Friedman (yes, being required to move AND sing at the same time), it seems that this tour and the shift towards the new electronic sound has inspired freestyle Matt to let loose his rhythm. While not exactly dancing, it was those little grooves and moves – “air piano”, swinging arms, DJ deck spin and slip-sliding hands – that were quite adorable. “Oh it was FUN…”

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7. The wedding

Monday July 11th was a very special day, not only because Matt was appearing at the Glee Club in Birmingham, but because the lovely Tom Peters made an honest woman of the lovely Hayley. Good sport that she is, she didn’t mind sharing her beau with the Cardle crew and was truly gracious towards “the other Mrs Peters”, whom she threw her bouquet to. Two thumbs up triple time to Hayley Peters, and to everyone who helped the happy couple make it a day to remember.

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8. The VIPs

In addition to the always lovely meet-and-greet, a genius move was to allow VIPs access to the pre-gig sound check. Whilst not pretending to understand any of what went on – struggling as we are to still get the finer detail of Matt’s requirements for “wetness” – it was fascinating to see the set-up tests and tweaks. Amongst other things, we spotted just how many drumsticks Tom has at his disposal and found out that Paul had the chords for Bring Him Home scribbled on a bit of paper, because he still hadn’t totally memorised them. No photography or recording allowed, so VIPs were focused on purely enjoying the experience.

9. The guitar solo in Slowly

Just call him Slowhand Cardle!

10. A vision in black

No need to waste too much time on wardrobe choices, because after a brief foray into white at Shoreditch, Matt made the pukka lifestyle choice of black. We don’t want to be too shallow, but it’s a good look. As the tour went on, we became slightly fascinated with the knee hole getting larger and larger and the black cardigan seemingly disintegrating around him.

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(Credit: Marcus Valance)

 

 

Tour days are the happiest of days. Thanks to everyone involved for making this such a great experience. Roll on Album 4… and Album 4 Tour!

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