Jack Garratt at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Jack Garratt is a legend. That descriptor may seem premature for one so young, but not only is it accurate, it is well deserved. He has a collection of hits behind him and is following in the footsteps of Ed Sheeran, who also refuses to be bound by genre and knows his way around multiple instruments and a loop pedal. No, not following, fiercely forging his own way.
With the stage set so that the lights, projector and instruments all face the singer, as though worshipping at his altar, it is clear he is the focus. And he commands the audience and stage with the goofy charisma of a man who is fully confident in his talent, yet still excited to show it off.
Garratt is a consummate artist. His music is so complex and draws from so many sources of inspiration that by the time they are all acknowledged, he is off to the next idea. As he simultaneously wields a drum machine and keyboard while belting beautiful tunes, something truly magical is witnessed. Combine this with trippy geometric visuals and it’s a full sensory experience.
The haunting eloquence of The Love I Give is gut-wrenching and dripping with sadness. Jumping then to dance beats on Breathe Life, to folk with a detour through hip-hop and blues in Worry, Garratt blends styles effortlessly. This is highlighted by the final thrashing guitar solo, which would not go amiss in a stadium, but which is enthralling in a relatively intimate venue. This is something he uses to his advantage: although the Shepherd’s Bush Empire has a sizeable capacity, the plush surroundings create a close, comforting environment that Garratt mimics this with his music. With tunes made for arenas and festivals, it is as though he is playing for each audience member individually.
Photo: Briony Campbell
For further information about Jack Garratt and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Breathe Life here: