Jack White

Wow, Jack White, wow. Does this man know how to put on a good show. Tonight’s gig at the HMV Forum was the launch night for Jack’s new solo album, Blunderbuss. Backed by his all-female group, right from the off, Jack hit the stage running.

The night didn’t start off well. Due to the last minute announcement of the gig, it meant turning up early to stand in the rain while wristbands were issued. Eventually, we were allowed into the gig with the strict instructions that photography wasn’t allowed.

I’d seen the support act before and was not impressed but I wanted to be as near to the front as possible so suffered them for a second time. The Smoke Fairies seem to have all the components necessary to be a band I would like. Musically they’re okay but the two lead singers just doesn’t work, leading to an almost drone sound that puts me to sleep. Thry’re not terrible, just not for me.

At about 9.40, Jack attached the stage. Right from the off he showed his intention to impress starting with a thundering rendition of the White Stripes song, Leaves the Dirty Ground. He’s touring with two bands, an all girl group and a male group. Each group has a slightly different composition, with the all girl group featuring fiddle, double bass, drummer, keyboards, slide guitarist and backing vocalist. At times the fiddle player leant a ‘country’ sound to the proceedings and it means Jack can choose a style that suits the day. He also played without a set list and Jack clearly enjoyed acting the part of conductor. I wasn’t sure what to make of this approach, but having seen the first band, I can’t wait to see how the rockier male band sound. Hopefully on his return in June, he’ll take the opportunity to play with both bands.