10 Reasons to ♥ Matt Cardle at Union Chapel
Union Chapel was the final night on Matt’s eight-date Unplugged tour in April and May 2013. As the name suggests, it was an acoustic show – just him and Paul Bullen, on guitar and keys respectively. Here are just some of the reasons why the night has gone down in Cardle history (Cardlestory?)…
- 1. First of all, the venue: As befitting its original vocation, the sheer beauty of the architecture can’t be denied… and it’s got acoustics to match. It was spine-tingling to hear *that* voice filling up the space. The wooden pews were a bit unfriendly for bottoms (all the better to stay alert when listening to the Sunday sermon), but that was more than made up for by the friendliness of the staff. Plus tea and coffee served in proper mismatched mugs!
- 2. The churchiness of the venue imposed a certain reverence, and the lighting set this off perfectly – from the daylight streaming through the windows when the support acts were performing to the atmospheric blue lights when Matt was on. (Both openers made an impression – Azu returned for some dates on Matt’s Porcelain tour, while we believe Jain (as in ‘rain’) Wells has since returned to her therapy practice in Canada.)
- 3. Paul: We’d got to know Paul a little better on this tour. Although he didn’t say much on this occasion, his undeniable charm and general loveliness shone through. He’d also accompanied both support acts, providing excellent value.
- 4. The concept: The setlist roughly traced Matt’s musical ‘journey’ up to The Fire – the most recent album. Matt interacted with the crowd in between most songs, bringing everyone along with him on that journey. Some gems include his description of what happened between I’m No Good and When We Collide (i.e. X Factor) and asking whether the audience were warm enough!
- 5. And due to the ‘unplugged’ nature of the show, the songs were stripped down to their bare bones – as Matt has said, being able to carry this off successfully is a sign of a well-written song. One example is Anyone Else – quite a funky track from The Fire:
- 6. Similarly, Lately – here, the audience joined in with the finger-clicks keeping time:
- (Did we say spine-tingling?)
- 7. And speaking of audience participation… Amazing had become a favourite singalong by this point – but this time the person with the best voice in the room left the rest struggling to hit the high note on ‘tiiiiime’! Okay, it was pretty funny…
- 8. Probably unrelated, but someone threw a pie at the stage shortly after. Not the cream-pie-to-the-face kind of pie-throwing, but the I-made-this-pie-for-you-and-I-hope-you-enjoy-it kind. It landed near Paul, who picked it up. We’re curious as to what the filling was – anyone care to own up??
- 9. The audience had been informed on social media that the company 45 Sound wanted as many people as possible to record Matt singing Lost and Found so they could make a special all-angles video. So as soon as it was clear that L&F was up next, there was a mass scramble as everyone dug their cameras and phones out in time to capture it. Although the end result has since disappeared, here’s the BBC Click programme explaining how it worked:
- (And there are lots of videos of Lost and Found up still on YouTube.)
- 10. Special guest: Sitting among the crowd was Mel C, and we now know that the plan for Loving You was hatched over drinks after the gig…!
Were you at Union Chapel that night (or at any of the Unplugged shows)? What do you remember? Thanks to all those who recorded this fantastic evening’s entertainment, it can be enjoyed over and over again by anyone, whether their bottoms are familiar with those unforgiving pews or not: