by Glenda Deshon (music lover, supporter and promoter of Australian Country Music)
Date: Wednesday 29 March 2017
Location: Bridge Hotel, Rozelle Sydney
When it came to choosing a venue
to host his album launch, Matt Cornell didn’t have to look very far. The Bridge
Hotel is a venue Matt has been a regular at since he was 18 & he has seen
many bands perform live there over the years.
The Bridge Hotel is steeped in live music history and Matt has always
loved the charisma and vibe that is felt within the hotel, its very old school,
very rock n roll and it seemed right that this should be the venue to host his
very first album launch. Matt’s association with the Bridge Hotel came full
circle on Wednesday night. From those early days of seeing his idols perform,
Matt now found himself upon the same stage showcasing his new album to a room
full of supporters. His dream of one
day playing in this iconic venue finally coming true.
The night kicked off with Damien
Baguley doing support. Damien (with help from a couple of viper creek band
mates) put on a half hour acoustic set of Viper Creek songs & did an
awesome job warming up the crowd. Damien is an amazing talent in his own right and
highlighted what a gifted musician and vocalist he truly is with this acoustic
But the night belonged to Matt
Cornell and at 8.15pm, Matt along with his band (Chris Kamzelas, Colin Coorie,
Mark Ferris and Adam Church) hit the stage and launched straight into ‘It’s
Only Midnight’, the first track off the new album ‘My Soundtrack’. Matt
followed this with another from the new album called ‘What He Does’. Matt
co-wrote this track with Allan Caswell and Adam Church and both co-writers were
in the house (Allan in the audience and Adam playing drums).
The room was filled with a
mixture of family, friends, industry and fans & from the moment Matt
stepped on stage he had the audience in the palm of his hand with his energetic
and engaging stage presence.
Matt promised special guests and
he didn’t disappoint.
The first guest to join Matt was
Drew McAlister. Drew co-wrote the title track with Matt and Allan Caswell and
also provided background harmonies on the recording. Matt & Drew performed
‘My Soundtrack’ together and it went over a treat, receiving appreciative
applause from the audience.
The second guest to join Matt on
stage was Mike Carr. Matt and Mike have a connection that goes back many years
and have co-written quite a number of songs together in the past. Mike joined
Matt to perform the track ‘Don’t Feel Like Doing it’ a song they co-wrote which
featured on Matt’s previous self-titled release.
Damien Leith was Matt’s third
guest and they performed ‘Rest of Our Lives’, a song that came to life during
their very first songwriting session and made its way onto the new album. Their
performance of this track was one of many highlights of the night.
Matt’s final special guest was
Amber Lawrence. In honour of the Dixie Chicks playing across town on the same
night, the pair performed the Keith Urban & The Ranch classic ‘Some Days
You Gotta Dance’ which was also covered by the Dixie Chicks.
Not only did Matt perform every
track from the new album, he also included a couple of numbers from his
previous releases, and at the halfway point, Matt gave the band a break and did
an acoustic set which included fan favourites Outta This Town & Feels Like
Yesterday. Matt also sang ‘In This Town’ the first single released from the new
album ‘My Soundtrack’.
Without doubt, the moment that
stole the night was when Matt sang ‘Unbreak My Heart’, the only ballad that
features on the new album. With his band back on stage, Matt had the audience
captivated as he delivered the song with haunting tender vocals and raw
emotion. You could have heard a pin drop during this number and I dare say
there was a tear or two shed within the audience as it was a truly moving
The final track of the night was
‘Jenny Packs her Bags’ which is also the final track on the album. This 80’s
inspired song is perfectly suited for a live setting and Matt, backed by his
superb band, had the audience rocking.
The crowd weren’t going to let
Matt finish up that easy though, an encore was demanded and Matt came back on
stage to perform the Stereophonics hit ‘Dakota’ which really brought the place
alive and the night to a close.
Overall, the launch was a
fantastic night of live music. Matt
& band delivered a stellar live show & everyone in attendance left
happy knowing they had been completely and thoroughly entertained by a world
Not only did Matt successfully
launch ‘My Soundtrack’, an album that is undeniably his finest record to date,
he also validated why he is a highly regarded singer, songwriter and
If the album launch for ‘My
Soundtrack’ is anything to go by, we will all be hearing and seeing a lot more
of Matt Cornell in the future, as he is an artist definitely on the way to
becoming a household name in Australian Country Music.