- 26 Apr 19
Over the last 40 years, Joe Jackson’s recorded output has retained a level of quality most musicians can only dream of nearing. Tonight’s show celebrates these impressive innings and is masterfully orchestrated from start to finish, bookended with sweeping jazz opus ‘Alchemy’ from current long player Fool. ‘It’s turning garbage into gold’ he says, explaining the song’s title by way of introduction “what us musicians are always trying to do.”
Jackson’s hardcore following have snapped up every ticket to this event and their devotion is evident at several junctures, tis only early doors when they sing along so brazenly to ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?’ he turns the mic crowd-wards and sits back arms folded.
We zig zag joyously through the decades with Jackson and trusted henchmen; guitarist Teddy Kumpel, old ally Graham Moby on bass and the outrageously talented drummer Doug Yowell.
‘Do feel free to break into spontaneous applause, it’s what we live for us musicians, we’re applause whores” Jackson grins - this is the last date of the tour and Staffordshire native is in playful form.
The fare from the latest collection stands almost haughtily amongst the classics; from ‘Fabulously Absolute’s gritty indie swagger to ‘Stranger Than Fiction’s eerie ethereal atmospherics and the playful exotic canter of the title track.
In terms of covers, he airs his take on Lennon/McCartney nugget ‘Rain’ which he reworked because he ‘thought the chords were boring’ and does his best Donald Fagen impression for Steely Dan’s ‘King Of The World’.
The jewel in the encore crown is undoubtedly ‘Stepping Out’. He brings the original drum machine (plus duct tape) and xylophone to treat us to an anatomy of the song before the entire theatre erupts.
A lesson from the master.
Photo Credit: Danni Ronan