X Factor: Matt Cardle’s homecoming gig - as Steve Brookstein plays Ipswich coffee shop

WHILE X Factor finalist Matt Cardle performs to hundreds of fans at Colchester’s Charter Hall tonight, original winner Steve Brookstein will be singing to coffee drinkers at Caffe Nero in Ipswich Buttermarket.

South London soul singer Steve’s only regret is he won’t be able to make Matt’s homecoming gig.

“He’s performing tonight? That’s wicked. It’s a shame I can’t go,” he said.

“I think he’s got a great voice, I’d love to see him. I think he should win it to be honest. He’s got great potential...if he’s allowed to do his own thing he’ll do great,” he laughed.

No doubt this was a reference to his and Simon Cowell’s public bust-up that saw them part company. “We had problems with the relationship,” he teased.

Steve won the first series of the hit ITV1 show in 2004, with his debut single and album hitting the top spot. Then came the falling out with Cowell.

His second, independently released, album achieved critical rather than commercial acclaim.

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But Steve has continued to write and perform – he starts work on his third album next year – and has spent much of last and this year supporting his wife Eileen Hunter, who is making a name for herself on the jazz scene.

They will perform in Ipswich from 6pm, singing a number of songs including their new single, a cover of the Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush classic Don’t Give Up.

It’s out on December 13 and is in aid of Streetsmart – helping the homeless.

“Tonight will be very laid back, with something for soul and jazz lovers with a couple of songs I did on the X Factor,” said Steve.

It’s a far cry from Cardle’s performance, a few miles down the road at Charter Hall, Leisure World, where fans queued through the night to get tickets.

The 27-year-old, from Little Maplestead, near Halstead, sold the 1,200-seater venue out in less than two hours.

“I’ve done the arenas, I’ve played Wembley. The Caffe Nero gigs are going to be a lot of fun and it’s nice helping the charity get some exposure,” added Steve.

“It’s never been about making pots of money or loads of fame it’s been about singing and enjoying the music I make.”

Get your exclusive Matt Cardle wallpaper for your mobile phone at m.eveningstar.co.uk

Also visit www.eveningstar.co.uk for the first report and pictures of Matt’s homecoming gig in Colchester

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