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All The Way LIVE: Just Jack

November 11, 2009

Just Jack: Live, Nottingham Rock City, November 10 2009

My only memories of the amusingly misnomered Basement Bar at Nottingham Rock City are those of dancing to No Diggity by Black Street after a few cherry alcopops in my sixth form years. So it was with some surprise that I returned years later to see North London singer/songwriter/rapper Just Jack perform in the intimate space.


Jack himself mused on the change of venue from the main stage to the second room, declaring that his live band were so close that “we can smell you.” The unusually small crowd did little to dampen further the drizzly Tuesday night in Nottingham though, with Mr Allsopp on top form.

Impressive, well-received support slot from Ed Sheeran

Kicking off proceedings was young support act Ed Sheeran – a solo guitarist and singer from Suffolk. Sounding like a cross between Jamie T and David Thomas Broughton, Ed strummed, beat-boxed, ragga-lilted, soundbox-slapped and MPC-looped his way through an impressive and well received set. Definitely worth looking out for.

Next up and bounding on stage with a massive grin plastered across his face like a young boy after a hard-fought 5-a-side win in the park was headliner Jack. His exuberant performance took in most of the tracks from critically acclaimed 2007 album Overtones as well as other fan favourites. Classics like I Talk Too Much and Snowflakes billed alongside newer material from this year’s All Night Cinema LP such as Doctor Doctor and sing-along The Day I Died.

So filthy that my pillow is still covered in a fine residue of grime this morning

Highlight of the show? Well, that would be a close-run contest between a particularly heavy refit of chart smash Glory Days and the wonderfully honest anti-ballad No Time. The former’s altered arrangement incorporated a synth section and bassline so deliciously filthy that my pillow was still covered in a fine residue of grime this morning. The latter saw Jack busying himself on the melodica to the refrains of Mylo’s Drop The Pressure.

Just Jack is probably the finest of the young male singer/songwriters around in recent years and his frank yet funky depictions of modern urban life are welcome relief from pop music’s excesses. Just think of George Clinton re-imagining Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and you’re there.

Originally published at, Nov 10 2009, 07:24am

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