Review: Jack Savoretti at the O2 Guildhall, Southampton

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Brilliant

Jack Savoretti is a fantastic performer, and it would be the 'Greatest Mistake' to miss watching him perform live.

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Jack Savoretti is by contemporary standards a veteran of the music industry. In a time where artists are increasingly throwaway, he has been touring and recording music for over a decade. Having released six studio albums, and toured almost constantly, he has often failed to gain the commercial success that most artists long for. However, his latest album, Singing to Strangers has proven to be a breakthrough moment. Reaching number one in the album charts, Savoretti was finally able to play Wembley Arena this Summer and is now on his second UK tour of the album.

Savoretti has always been largely a touring musician. This time spent on the road has not been wasted. Over the years Savoretti has perfected both his style musicianship and showmanship, making for an electric night.
Savoretti has honed his mid show patter to a fine art, something which was clear at his show in the Southampton Guildhall. He happily chats away with his audience, largely comprised of his zealously loyal fans, explaining the diverse origins of his songs and telling the occasional joke. It is this engaging style which proves so popular. When queuing to get into the Guildhall, all talk is of what a genuinely nice guy he is, for those lucky enough to have paid for a meet and greet anyway!

Supported by Toby Johnson, Savoretti opened with ‘Candlelight’, the opening track from his most recent album. Atmospheric and decadent, the song sets the atmosphere perfectly, encapsulating the suave and sophisticated tone that the evening will take. Slightly akin to old movie soundtracks, something about ‘Candlelight’ hints that Savoretti would dearly love to produce a song for a western movie.

The setlist for the evening was divided into two halves: sombre ballads, of which he has many, and the more upbeat and often funky songs that he revels in as a performer. The setlist was a considered mix of the old and new. Savoretti and his team know how to perfectly construct a set so that everybody goes home happy.

Savoretti decided to include ‘Breaking the Rules’ at the last minute, a song that he by his own admission hadn’t played for years, upon a fan request. This went down a storm, his melancholic folk influenced early songs have become firm fan favourites. As did more recent hits like ‘You and Me as One’, a dance song he has only just released, in collaboration with Sigma. He clearly has a diverse range of influences and this was demonstrated on particularly on this evening.

Whilst the majority of Savoretti’s songs were played simply on acoustic guitar, sometimes with the help of the backing band, the highlights of the evening were the more upbeat songs. These included ‘Youth and Love’ and ‘Love is on the Line’. This was the part of the evening where his prowess with a tambourine was spectacularly revealed. Not only did the segway into more upbeat songs lift the atmosphere in the room, it also encouraged the audience themselves to dance along with Savoretti who is himself, quite the mover (with his trusty tambourine in hand).

Savoretti is a consummate and professional performer. He has learned his craft over the years and is one of the best live acts around. He has a diverse setlist and loves to engage with his audience. He chooses the venues at which he performs wisely, as they are largely intimate, like the Guildhall. An evening spent in the company of him and his band feels like a meeting of old friends, it would be the ‘Greatest Mistake’ to not go and see him live.

Check out the remaining tour dates here.

 

 

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