• Tyler

LIVE REVIEW: Jack Garratt @ Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Jack Garratt leans back comfortably into the sofa backstage. He seems calm and optimistic, despite the technical issues that had plagued the tour so far. The interview (which you can read here) was filled by Jack’s brevity and fast paced dialogue, and makes for an interesting read however, the real interview began when he came on stage.

photo courtesy of Wall of Sound

The Belgrave stage was set up like a mad scientist’s laboratory, with various electronic instruments, microphones and guitars splayed out in a circular fashion, haphazardly adorned with light bulbs that seemed to flicker and fade at random intervals as the audience sat with baited breath. Everyone's phones sat in a plastic bag, untouched (at the request of Jack) as the wait and anticipation grew.

It had been a long hiatus since his first album 'Phase' in 2016, and id admittedly never heard of him before being asked to do this event. I wasn't sure what to expect, and it would seem most of the crowd didn't either. All I can say is, I don't think any of us were disappointed.

One sometimes presumes an electronic musicians gig wouldn't be particularly interesting. I don't know about you, but the idea conjures the image of someone occasionally throwing their hands up and pressing keys on a laptop. But every song Jack Garratt played looked like a workout. He pirouetted around his musical laboratory, smacking drum pads and laying down riffs on guitars in an impressive display of endurance and musical prowess. The result? Powerful, emotional songs that resonated with everyone in the audience and left many (including myself) stunned.

photo courtesy of Wall of Sound

I presumed Jack would leave his talkative and open nature in the interview, but he was just as honest and interesting on stage. Every song came with a poignant tale of his struggles with mental health, comedic banter with the audience and a whole lot of heart. One moment I'll always remember is when he took a brief moment to play "Go The Distance" from Hercules after realising it's similarity to one of his own songs. This man is as talented as he is funny, and as funny as he is brave.

Overall, seeing Jack Garratt live at Belgrave is an experience I will never forget. He re-conceptualised what a gig could be for me. It doesn't have to just be a show, it can be a frank view into someone's life through their music. It can be a light-hearted experience, as well as a surprisingly heartfelt one. Jack Garratt is a success story, both in his amazing music and in his life, and he is absolutely worth seeing.

photos courtesy of Wall of Sound