After the success of our live review of Miles Hunt’s gig at home (read here), the first from a plethora of live performances that have been streaming here, there and everywhere, our live review section has rebooted. Here’s a report on Jackson’s Jukebox; Luke Jackson’s ‘by request’ gig.
Having watched Luke Jackson literally grow up as a performer, I submitted my three choices from a five-album career (plus a live one) that began with 2012’s More Than Boys. I’m not telling what they were (yet), but sat back and awaited the outcome.
Following the advice of Louder Than War’s John Robb, there’s a spirit of an attempt to write about the gig and how you felt when you were there. The rare opportunity to ‘write as you watch’. And a thought occurred: from being raised on the old fashioned mystique of rock stars where we used to know little about them and their God-like existence, we’re now getting inside their homes. Not necessarily Hello! magazine style but you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t find yourself checking out the surroundings as your favourite rock stars sing to you from the comfort of their living rooms.
So from the Jackson residence, we noted a nice white themed decor and a lovely wooden floor. Judging by the picture frames, he may have been down the local IKEA, and was that a couple of bottles of hand sanitiser on the table?
Meanwhile, back on track with the promised 12 songs, as Ant & Dec would say, in no particular order. 10 from us, one unrecorded oldie and a new one.
Could it have been nerves kicking in – surely not – a rare stumble on the opening line to Aunt Sally? It takes more to phase Luke Jackson though. I’ve seen him change a guitar string mid-song and continue singing without breaking sweat.
After the first of a couple of trips to his debut album with More Than Boys, the first highlight comes, as I recall first hearing Sister at Ramsbottom Festival before Fumes & Faith was released….what a preview!!! That’s the first of my three requests ticked off…… All the biblical references strongly carrying a spiritual echo and polished off with a dark soul.
There’s a story about being sick in the studio toilet (although I may be wrong) before the video shoot for Aimee from his most recent Journals album. I lost concentration being distracted by the comments thread about competing with Fish who’s also online tonight (apparently wearing his old Grendel mask which will have excited a few). There’s the Marillion connection covered too as Luke has done support slots for the more recent Marillion.
Is It Me helps tick off the This Family Tree album and all bases are covered although the bass drum is playing havoc with the laptop speakers. Straight into Eliza Holt from Journals that’s cut of the same cloth as Sister; a committed, almost gospel blues style, delivered again with a heap of soul and loads of little love hearts fly across the screen.
Baker’s Woods is one of the most requested songs in the set. Written at about the age of about 14, it has that charm and significance. It’s changed a lot since the original version, now a much more sensitive and delicate reading. Once again, the memory bank stirs to seeing him perform this with Martyn Joseph back in 2012/3.
The unrecorded one also takes us back to his early teens. A song about someone he met at a gig, Dancing Gerard, is one I’ve missed although the story sounds familiar. It might be relatively simply chord-wise but there are some tricky and challenging fast-paced lyrics.
The true story of Red Oak and one of his own personal favourites leaves us all still awaiting the new one. Curse The Day has a real old fashioned rock and roll vibe with some smart fretwork and it’s been gig tested if you’ve been lucky enough. Throwing some cool shapes, easing back on his seat and pulling across the strings, he’s getting warmed up.
There should be time for one more and I’m briefly gutted that Last Train hasn’t made the final list, from other choices. We can have a virtual singalong to The Road and like a real gig there’s a virtual encore which to my delight is Fathers Footsteps (which I’ve typed several times in the comments box) and earn a virtual mention! Probably the equivalent of being a loudmouth on the front row. So two-thirds of my choices have made the final cut and we’ve witnessed Luke Jackson turn out another of his impassioned performances. It could be, but let’s hope it’s not the future.