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Jack Savoretti, JONES – Live Review O2 Academy, Leeds

Source: Twitter @JackSavoretti

Jack Savoretti has a great voice. There’s no denying that in my mind; his voice is a sexy, husky thing, which adds to the reason why he has so many female fans. Yet a distinctive singing voice alone does not make an artist. There are many other qualities that you need to impress as a singer/songwriter.

 Stage presence, instrumental talent, the capacity to build a rapport with an audience: Jack has all of these qualities. Yet musically breaking out of his comfort zone is seemingly not the done thing for him. His songs, a few of them memorable, mostly collapse into one general foot-stomping, anthemic refrain which I can’t remember the words to. The only songs that really stick in my head are the ones I came to the gig already knowing (his song ‘Home; is genuinely very good).

The main reason that most of the songs don’t stick in my head is that they never really go into a bridge part of the song, or change the chord progression at all. The use of dynamics in his songs is very good, but it’s pretty much the sole way of making the song’s parts feel new when they hit you. The drum beats, the guitar lines, they really don’t change drastically throughout the songs. That, for me, is why they all blend together into one hard-to-remember mass. They aren’t bad songs; they just don’t stick in my head.

I would also point out that a few times during the show there were technical issues, or the band didn’t start playing when they were supposed to. It was the first gig of the tour, admittedly, but still it seemed a bit unprofessional from my standpoint. Jack’s charm kicked in whenever this happened and he managed to quite capably make light of the situation, despite probably being a bit miffed, and that capacity is something I respect in a performer. His charisma is certainly a key part of his attraction as a live act.

Jack’s support act, however, was – quite simply put – brilliant. JONES, a performer hailing from London (you may have seen her advertised on Spotify or on Apple Music) is an up-and-coming act who has released her debut album, New Skin, recently. Her voice, like Jack’s, is sexy and distinctive. Her backing band consists of a guitarist, a keyboardist and a drummer, and they manage between the three of them to create a sound which fills the venue comfortably. They combine electronica and pulsing beats with her beautiful vocals, and in the process they create a quite formidable act. I will certainly be going to see her when she tours solo.

Overall, Jack Savoretti put on a decent enough show, but as someone who had only heard a handful of his songs before the gig, there weren’t many more that I feel I will be listening to over and again. I would advise you to listen to his music and make your own mind up whether you want to hear it live…

Jack Savoretti’s album ‘Sleep No More’ is out now.