Jack Ladder at Paper Dress Vintage
Vintage clothing shops always seem to transport us back in time, into overlapping fabrics of the past; the same is true of Jack Ladder. He performs in a vintage shop transformed into a venue, complete with disco ball and cocktails. It is an intimate gig, towards the end Sydney-born Ladder takes requests from the mostly Australian audience. His voice is raw, a blend of Leonard Cohen and Chris Isaak at times. His latest single, Susan – a mixture of electronic beat and the songwriter’s intense vocals – has a certain Cohen quality.
Ladder is a huge presence in the room. He is effortless, soulful and funny. He treats the crowd to anecdotes between numbers: “This song was made into a porn film… It’s really made me hate the song”. He introduces his cover of Lou Reed’s A Gift after informing us about his speciality for opening gigs for famous female singers: “I’m just a gift to the women of this world”. He poses various questions to the audience, asking where we think his jacket is from, about the weather in London; intermixing humour into the set offers relief from the power of some of his tracks.
The singer’s dark baritone resonates in Hurtsville. Reputation Amputation is perhaps less powerful performed live when compared with the chaotic electronic sounds of the original. Ladder is a talented performer who deserves more recognition in the UK. His music is polished soul – you lose yourself in the depths of his voice – and he brings a fresh take on the sound of older singers while offering a deeper, darker alternative to mainstream balladic performers. His timeless voice retells tales of love, loss and hardship; this is an artist certainly worth listening to, especially for those who want to inject a bit of soul into their musical repertoire.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information about Jack Ladder visit here.
Listen to Susan here: