Photo Credit: Redbrick
Having first seen Jack Garratt perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading in 2014, I was keen to see his now well-established set in the flesh. There was a sense of growing anticipation amongst the crowd whilst support act, Seramic, who were clearly influenced by Jack, performed. Their set went down a treat with the audience, whom were a variety of ages and backgrounds; definitely a band that should be checked out by any of Jack’s fans.
With the arena’s lights switched off and the whole venue in darkness, the bass began to pulsate with Jack’s album artwork, a big blue LED circle lit in the background. Jack arrived covered head to toe in his baseball style merchandise, instantly taking control of his distinctive circular set up. He launched into the first four songs off his debut album, Phase, in identical order to the album tracklist before asking the audience if he could “do something that has pissed every crowd off so far, but I love doing it?” – he proceeded to do so anyway. What followed was both mesmerising and amusing, Garratt began playing covers, ranging from Superstition by Stevie Wonder to Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, before cutting them just before the chorus. This pissed the crowd right off, just as he had promised.
However, he did follow this segment by a self-titled “mashup of two greats”, 7 Days by Craig David and Señorita by Justin Timberlake. The crowd now couldn’t be any further form being pissed off. Jack’s views on music piracy were then established by stating that whether the audience had listened to his album legally or illegally he didn’t care, what makes it for him is that he can fill out venues such as the Pavillions, fulfilling his childhood ambition. Although, he did follow up by stating that there were CDs and vinyl on sale in the forum for those that had listened illegally.
Upon finishing the set Jack stated that he had no time to do the “walking on and off thing”, so he would instead proceed with either one or two encore songs, depending on how the crowd reacted. He stated that the extra song would be a heartfelt, slow number that may not be for everyone. When it began you could almost hear a pin drop. This extra song was an emotional rendition of My House is Your Home, written about his American Muslim fiancée. He explained that this song goes out to anyone who feels like they are now living in a more oppressed world as a result of recent affairs. Worry, the final song of the encore followed, finishing the set in a more jovial fashion and leaving the audience in high spirits. This gig made it clear that the sky is the limit for Jack Garratt, proving that both his progressive sound and performances are taking the nation by storm.