GIG REVIEW: Jack Garratt | 170 Russell | MELB | 20.7.16

Saturday, July 23, 2016

To admit Jack Garratt is talented would be an understatement — the 24-year-old Brit is the ultimate musical magician, as evident in the way he enchanted the audience on Wednesday and cast a spell on everyone inside 170 Russell.

Having signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music recently, Kacy Hill is on her way to achieving big things. Unlike the current roster of G.O.O.D. Music artists who are skilled in the art of hip-hop lyricism and production, Hill brings musical diversity to the label with her brilliant electronic soul sounds. Her vocals are atmospheric, and her falsetto captured the attention of everybody in the room. She included her latest single ‘Lion’ in her set, which is also set to appear on her debut release (coming later this year). She’s one to look out for, watch this space.

An important observation I gathered during Jack Garratt’s performance was his humility. Though he admitted that he had extreme jetlag, he seemed genuinely excited to have pulled a sold out crowd to his show. Despite having played major festivals such as T in the Park, Lovebox, Glastonbury and SXSW, he came across as appreciative of everybody in the room for being there. A memorable moment was when he was surprised to see the crowd singing along to every word from ‘Weathered’ and as a result stopped and restarted so someone from his camp could record it for his parents (cue the awwwws).

Along with his down-to-earth nature, Garratt has a great sense of humour and at times it felt like his show was a crossover of a comedy show and a gig. After admitting that he had already performed his two biggest hits ‘Weathered’ and ‘Breath Life’ too early in the set, he jokingly announced that the rest of his set was going to consist of Michael McDonald covers, who he could impersonate eerily well. Though he was not lying about playing a few covers, the first being 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme Tune', which he surprisingly did well without it being corny. The next covers he did were a mash between ‘7 Days’ by Craig David and ‘Señorita’ by Justin Timberlake. The mash-up was seamless, and he switched between the two with ease. 

He closes his set with ‘Surprise Yourself’ and ‘Worry’, before departing to proceed on his way to Byron Bay for Splendour in the Grass. Those who have criticised Garratt in the past for being ‘boring’ and ‘bland’ have obviously never seen him live. The multi-instrumentalist can coordinate his bevy of instruments with no pressure while simultaneously finding the ability to connect to the audience through his raw emotions and love for what he does.

Written by Amy Smolcic
Photography by Kristy Smolcic