My worst fears for the evening were realised upon queueing outside the building and realising that I was almost probably the oldest person there............ as I face yet another Birthday tomorrow, this was not the greatest feeling on Earth!! Upon stepping inside to the 'Concert Hall' I realised that not only were there no chairs but it was like the inside of what I presume Men's prisons halls look like!!! Clare and I swiftly secured our 2 spots at the very front of the stage and I did a quick recky to check A the state of the loos (not that bad) and B) the state of the bar! The latter being small and with staff who looked like they were bored to death before the evening had even started!
The very first warm up act did nothing to quell my fears that I had stumbled into the sort of show that x factor rejects had made up - worst of all he was a local Portsmouth lad (sorry mate!) just not for me I guess..............
I eyed up the bar with a lot more longing and after short deliberation and an exchange (could not be called customer contact in ANY way!) with the bar person a large (tepid) G & T had found it's way into my hand when a certain magic happened........... This shy, quiet slip of a young woman walked on, opened her mouth and sang and she took my breath away! Karima Francis - gentle, unassuming and with the voice of Joni Mitchell/Joan Armatrading type blew away my thoughts of being old and in the wrong place........
Listen to her (and download / buy her album The Remedy) I think she was fab! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2J0hnGb0RE
Anyway, there I am feeling a lot less old all, quite mellow and starting to enjoy the evening (it really was only 1 G & T) when Jack Savoretti and his group made their appearance.......... all I can say is wow, wow, and wow!!! I just alluded to X Factor and some of the so called singers that they have on there - but my goodness this young man outstripped all of them. Again and a bit like Karima -, he was understated, gentle (well mostly,till he really rocked out some of the songs!) When he played alone, the band having left the stage, he was just so amazing! The talent of this man was breathtaking! His acoustic guitar playing alone was brilliant!
So there we were - glued to the front railing, swaying and dancing and looking like moon struck teenagers at this gorgeous man!! Take me Home and a Soldiers Eyes were among my favourites, but For the Last Time was for me THE BEST!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QaB5RXE6_Q&feature=related
Jack also has a great album out called Before the Storm - don't buy it for me though, I've already got it - but buy it for yourselves............. its fan-tas-tic!!!