Video: Early footage of X Factor’s Matt

WHEN sound engineer Phil Bennett helped coax a shy singer into taking part in a pub’s open mic night, little did he know that months later that same singer would be wowing millions on the X Factor.

Phil, of Kesgrave-based sound and lighting equipment suppliers East Stageing, spotted Matt Cardle after being asked to help out at The Thatcher’s Arms, Colchester, back in May.

“I’d seen him at other open mics. He was sort of hiding in the corner, shy; like he didn’t want to push in and jump on stage and do anything.

“So James Payze, who was running the open mic nights there, and I had to sort of coax him up there,” the Bose Pro Partner remembered.

When the singer started playing, it was a definite “yes” from Phil.


You may also want to watch:


“I plugged his guitar in, sound checked him and everything, hit record on the laptop and then this sound came out and I was like ‘wooh, this is good’. Everybody just went quiet.

“He did three songs, including Thriller; I thought you could just give a song to him and he’d be able to sing it.

Most Read

“If you’ve got to keep touching the mixer and so on, making sure everything sounds good that’s not a good artist. With Matt I just walked away, sat in the audience and watched.”

He was also a hit with the hundreds who tuned in to watch the set as it was streamed live via the web.

“We had people in a little chat room as well. No one knew who he was, it was just Matt and they all saw him before X Factor so it’s quite an achievement for us and for the pub.”

- To watch Matt’s early performance, click the link at the top right of this page

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter