Monday 29th February 2016
I like to see a rock band. And hear one. At Junction 1 in Cambridge you do both. Round auditorium, 800 people. 2 bars. Black paint. Well-worn toilet doors. Good size stage and excellent sound.
The sound is always important, and Jack Savoretti would have suffered if that was bad. His band is a gigging band, longstanding. They seem to have been the same musicians playing together for years. It wasn’t about flourish, but solidity, and most songs quickly built a momentum on a 4 bar chord sequence. That is incorrectly defined, I’m sure, but that repetition created the motoring drive that is lost with 8 bar verse/chorus structures. Exciting, though it can often be a sellout when it becomes an easier option to talented songwriting.
And before you decry this comment from this drummer of insignificance, I haven’t spoken of Jack Savoretti ‘s voice, which is actually another powerful instrument, sitting on top of this driving machine. A distinctive, gravelly voice of power and control. Apparently effortless, never doubting of pitch, and creating the complete rhythmic melody making the bands musical continuem essential. There were lots of interesting musical styles popping out as well. Folk percussion, reggae guitar, bowed double-bass. It was all about entertaining the crowd. And, it worked. It really worked.
And Jack was a nice guy. So comfortable. Warmed with the Cambridge audience. He gave the band a rest and played some beautiful songs on acoustic guitar – Catapult was glorious. So, he can write tunes as well.
I’m not into lyrics much; it’s melodies and sounds, and predominantly rhythms, and that is what Savoretti’s vocals add to it – it’s a lead instrument; THE lead instrument. That’s why the sound is so important, as so often the vocals are lost, and they weren’t lost at this gig.
So, I didn’t see a pop band, or a new kid on the block, or a one hit wonder – this was a rock band. And the venue was just what Jacks band needed. Sometimes you’re lucky and catch an artist just before he moves to arena-land, and this just happened to me.