Saint Jacky's Day,
Jack L, Whelans, March 17th
Picture the scene: It's your first gig in months, you're showcasing new
material and a new band, the audience is in raptures, you're halfway
through the set and your mike breaks. You get a new mike - it breaks too.
This would have upset a lesser man, but not Jack Lukeman. Jack called
for silence, jumped up on a
table and launched into Old Man River with such power that, despite the
lack of a mike, reached right to the back of Whelans. It was
Jack L just gets better all the time. The new band suit him perfectly.
They have enough visual personality not to be drown in the front-mans
shadow. Dave Constantine, in particular, provided a contrast to Jacks
dark, brooding presence with his bleach-blonde, Stipe-esque good looks.
The new material not only compares well to his older stuff, the fact that
theyre his own gives them a fresh personal resonance missing from his
covers. Still, his interpretations of Brels My Death, Amsterdam, If We
Only Have Love and Lockman, along with Scott Walkers 30 Century Man are
still brilliant, as are his own Remain Silent and Fear is the Key.
The coup de grace came with the encores: an emotive version of Leonard
Cohens Hallelujah and, as usual, his high camp version of Brels Jacky,
complete with top hat, cloak and cane.
Jack L has the incredible ability to make you forget the rest
of the audience so that it seems as if hes serenading you alone.
Henceforth, March the 17th shall be known as St. Jacks Day.
by Donnacha DeLong and Olivia Fox.