AN ERUPTION of female screaming greets the former painter-and-decorator standing under the spotlight clutching a guitar.
Another X-Factor graduate rides the fame wave into the Nottingham Royal Centre.
Tonight Matt Cardle, winner of last year’s biggest British talent show is out to prove his own credentials.
At first glance, it’s not easy to see why Matt triumphed. The audience varies from jumping teenage girls to swaying mums.
There is more than a hint of hen-party vibes in the room tonight.
For the duration of the 90-minute set Matt looks in danger of being knocked sideways by flying bras – lace knickers have been flung at the singer on previous nights of his Letters Tour.
Although lacking the natural charisma and swagger of renowned pop-gods like Robbie Williams, Matt does acknowledge his painter-next-door-charm. He often lets his shyness slip away with a few cheeky winks and finger waves in between guitar strums. The audience love it.
Matt does his best to tame the hysteria by reminding the crowd of his serious side and heartfelt autobiographical lyrics: “This next song I wrote is a bit funky”. A lady of a certain age screams back: “You can get funky with me Matt!”
As many X-Factor contestants have discovered the biggest crowd pleasers are not self-penned hits. Matt’s cover of The first time I saw your face mute the audiences’ whooping for an entire three minutes.
Matt shows off his impressive vocal range as he skips between notes with incredible ease.
For the encore Matt delivers faultless renditions of his biggest hits When we collide and Run For Your Life. The audience leap to their feet struggling between urges to sway, sing and photograph their idol. The female-strong crowd leave feeling warm of heart and sore of throat.
By Lucy Needham