Live Music: Treasures of the Secret Garden

It’s not often that you get a chance to witness an up-and-coming performer with rapidly rising popularity in a relatively small and laid-back setting, but this is exactly what Matt Corby and his “Secret Garden Tour” brought to Canberra.

Being given an opportunity to see him perform live in such an exclusive and intimate event was an amazing opportunity to see
what all the fuss was about.

His soulful voice and depth of talent have left a mark on many people. Now, it was Canberra’s turn.

We funnelled in through the side entry of a “secret” location in Deakin as daylight faded, clouds rolling in as a warm afternoon threatened to turn into a very wet evening.

Everyone waited patiently, buzzing with excitement as they sat on the soft, grassy backyard in inner-suburban Canberra, claiming a small portion as their own for the evening.

A small stage was set up to one side of the yard for the performances of the evening; the minimal lighting proved a soft and flattering backdrop for the performers.

An amazingly talented local musician by the name of Natalie Magee opened the evening with jazz-infused melodies. The term “support act” does not do justice in this instance. The rich quality of her voice soothed the crowd, all visibly captivated by
her graceful and heartfelt performance.

Next on the bill were the Avaberée girls, consisting of Genevieve, Aimee and Irena. Originally from Brisbane, this was the first
time they had come to Canberra. They engaged well with the crowd, speaking of their desire to go on an adventure through city and find a mystical “big fountain” which they had heard would occasionally pop up in Canberra.

The mix of folk and soul with their own unique twist was truly breathtaking. They sang one beautiful melody after another,
each song showcasing the flawless harmonies they could produce.

Already, the performances that had preceded the main act had left the crowd in awe, and when Matt Corby himself walked
on stage, his presence instantly hushed the crowd to silence.

Rain was beginning to fall, gradually becoming heavier as he performed, but the crowd remained absolutely silent with nary
a complaint.

To try to capture the essence behind his  voice is not an easy task, but I can wholeheartedly say that it is fascinating, complex and absolutely brilliant. His energy was unforgettable.

His rendition of The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” was particularly notable, with an energetic and powerful tone that made the song his own. Despite the rain continuing to fall, everything this young man did was amazing. We were blown away.

One person I spoke to after the night had said, “I was so wet and cold, but it was worth every second.”

Without a doubt, it was one of the most amazing events I had attended in a long time, and any Matt Corby performance is a
must-see. That said, it was the lesser-known musicians who stole the show and left the crowd open-mouthed. It was a privilege to witness a sample of the talent that is brewing all around us.