Jack Savoretti and James Walsh perform in intimate concert at Hard Rock Cafe in support of War Child UK
On the intimate stage of London’s legendary Hard Rock Café, musicians Jack Savoretti, James Walsh (Starsailor), Samuel Jack and Lucy Spraggan (X Factor) performed alongside Grey Areas, the winner of Soundcheque’s Songs of War contest.
The event was the final leg of the nationwide songwriting competition in support of War Child UK, a cause aiming to shed light upon children all over the world afflicted by ongoing conflict. Paul Conroy, a war photographer who narrowly escaped from Syria with his life, co-hosted the finale, which coincides with the recent release of the Marie Colvin biopic A Private War. The film is based off Conroy’s book Under the Wire, and features Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Colvin, and Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Grey) as Conroy himself.
The show kicked off with James Walsh, who was due to headline at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire only hours after his Songs of War performance. With nothing but his perfect pitch and an acoustic guitar, he sang Starsailor favourites such as Silence Is Easy and Four to the Floor along with new tracks from his solo album.
Following Walsh, Samuel Jack and Lucy Spraggan performed excellently. Jack’s wide range of vocals and Spraggan’s feel-good chords perfectly rounded out the concert with upbeat vibes just before Grey Areas was introduced. The winner of the competition sang numerous songs she wrote herself, including her profound contest-winning piece Dear God.
Jack Savoretti took the stage for the final performance of the evening. His outstanding voice control and signature raspy sound made for emotional ballads impeccably suited to the event. His thoughtful set started with 2015 hit Written in Scars from his smash record Sleep No More, followed by a tender performance of Soldier’s Eyes.
His third song Russian Roulette is – as Savoretti described it – an ode to survivors. Lyrics such as “Take me back to the place where I used to be/Before I lost a lifetime” are reminiscent of the struggle that both refugees and soldiers face in the aftermath of war. A resonance of 19th-century Russian guitar and an American “Old West” folk singing style made this rendition the highlight of the evening.
Jack Savoretti once again showed fans that he is a master of his smoky voice, and his willingness to perform for such an honourable cause proves that he is one of the few artists who wholeheartedly practise what they preach.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Jack Savoretti’s website here.
For further information about War Child UK visit the charity’s website here.
Watch the video for Between the Minds here: