Jack Savoretti at Cadogan Hall
The idea of a concert hall in Chelsea hosting a boy whose first love was poetry, who put his words to music after picking up the guitar, and came to sit comfortably within the sphere of pop whilst dodging many of its trashier accoutrements sums up the complex feeling that Jack Savoretti evokes.
Stepping into the coloured light of the Cadogan Hall stage, he says the concert is “for old friends”, and there is room for a bit of early reminiscence as he discusses his formative period. But all of this is secondary to his actual performance, and as he kicks off with Better Change the audience cheers, and the melody becomes a slow carburettor hum that builds to the full release of energy and passion. Savoretti has all the growl of Bryan Adams, the grit of Springsteen and the clean production values of James Morrison, but it is his lyrics that really leave a mark.
The idea of belonging seems to loom large in his songs (Take Me Home), and he is at his best when he reaches deep into himself, the words oozing out of the cracks in his vocals. Hate and Love, which originally featured Sienna Miller, is done as a duet with an up-and-coming Italian talent, whom Savoretti lauds as evidence that his homeland has not completely given itself up to the offerings of reality TV stars.
Catapult, from latest album Written In Scars, is performed with a string accompaniment of cello, violin and viola, and with piano and xylophone in the background; the sound feels full and vibrant – more than enough to fill the cavernous space of Cadogan Hall.
As Savoretti ends the set, he goes for Changes as a final number, singing about life, death, and where he came from – and the fact that nobody cares. This is the crux of his complexity: he is not easily categorised, something that seems to both thrill and irritate him. But his songs are all the more powerful because of it.
After a rousing encore, he leaves, his performance all too brief. As a man who has mastered more than one art form, Savoretti should stop concerning himself with where exactly he is at and where he might been. But then, if he did that, his performances might not be half as good.
Photos: Oksana Dotsenko
For further information about Jack Savoretti and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Written in Scars here: