Just Jack - 53 Degrees Preston - 5.10.07
2007 has been a massively successful year for Just Jack. Hit singles, top selling album, festival appearances and sell out tours are well deserved for young Jack Allsopp who is no overnight success. His debut album "The Outer Marker" was released 5 years ago so he's worked very hard to get where he is now and it couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.
Just Jack are no strangers to Preston. In November last year he played upstairs at 53 Degrees to just a handful of people. Designer Magazine was there and it was like having the sound of a genius coming to fruition. Just a few short months later he's playing to his biggest crowd to date in Moor Park at Radio One's Big Weekend. Hearing the rapturous applause as jack walks on with his band its hard for his face to stop smiling throughout the 75 minute set. With the album "Overtones" having been released in January of this year the band are much more confident as a live unit, rather than just a rapper and a group of session musicians. 53 Degrees is packed with young couples, hip hop fans, students and a few older faces who know just how to seek out great live music.
Looking like the kind of ordinary bloke you'd see drinking down the pub, Alsop is a rapper from removed from the bling obsessed, crotch grabbing knuckleheads from America. Rapping in his own accent with a funky band Just Jack are a band up for a party atmosphere. "Writers Block" just one of the many hit singles the band have had has the bass high in the mix, the hip hop drums dominating while namechecking heroines from Superman and Spiderman. Jack works brilliantly with his band and sweetly flirts with his glamorous singer.
A new version of "Paradise (Lost and Found)" from their debut album is yet another of the many highlights of a 13 song set. Jack loves to rock out as best demonstrated on "Talk Too Much". There's one hell of a brilliant guitar solo as punk meets funk on a song dealing with life's neurosis. Unrecorded but a live favourite "Goth In The Disco" mixes techno, witty laugh out loud lyrics, hand claps, ambulance sirens and a superb sing along chorus.
The last song "Starz In Their Eyes", the breakthrough number two hit, leaves the crowed clapping and cheering for more.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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