What Jack Garratt achieves on stage is quite incredible. He is a modern, one-man band, playing countless instruments at once and showcasing his extraordinary talent.
However, there is still something lacking from the singer’s live performance. Given, he is charismatic and very into his performance, but the material is all a bit too similar without any true standout tracks.
Garratt opened the show with a classic drum-heavy track followed by the popular single ‘Breathe Life’. Then, a personal favourite of mine, ‘Weathered’ whose sombre chords bursting into the chorus was pulled off well. These opening tracks were enjoyed by the Geordie crowd, the majority of whom joined in the choruses. Following this the musician had a chat with the crowd, confessing that he was feeling under the weather and had been battling with a cold over the past few days. Clearly, the illness wasn’t affecting his vocals as he then launched into what he announced as “one of my favourite tracks on the album” in ‘Far Cry’.
"clearly not happy with the standard of his performance on the night, he apologised profusely for his illness with a number of profanities"
Halfway through the show Garratt entered into his own, unique section of covers. He teased the opening ten seconds of a number of covers from ‘Can’t Stop’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Britney’s ‘Baby One More Time’ which was a creative breath of fresh air at the gig. He then went on to play, in full, a mash up of Craig David’s ‘Seven Days’ and Justin Timerblake’s ‘Señorita’, which has been part of his set-list all year – a rather underwhelming climax to the previous efforts.
"Jack Garratt is a phenomenal talent and deserves everything he has achieved in his rapid rise to fame"
After a quick break to tease the crowd, Garratt returned for the finale with summer single ‘Surprise Yourself’ which provided the perfect chance for a sing-along with the “ooo”s preceding the chorus. At the end of this record the singer seemed to become very emotional, clearly not happy with the standard of his performance on the night, and apologised profusely for his illness with a number of profanities. Before closing with ‘Worry’ the artist calmed proceedings down with the ballad ‘My House Is Your Home’ which he dedicated to a member of the crowd who interrupted to shout his love for Garratt halfway through the track. ‘Worry’ was, as could be predicted, the highlight of the night with the whole of the O2 Academy joining in to chant the chorus of, “Pick apart the pieces you left and don’t you worry bout it.”
Jack Garratt is a phenomenal talent and deserves everything he has achieved in his rapid rise to fame. Appreciating this talent live is, certainly, a joy. However, there is still that ‘wow factor’ lacking from his performance. This will, without doubt, come with time and add the final piece to an already convincing live show.