Welcome to the nocturnal red and black world of Jack L.
The artist in question is Jack Lukeman – one of Ireland’s best kept secrets – who is finishing a run at the Edinburgh Fringe this weekend.
The show is ostensibly built around a set of covers of Randy Newman and Jacques Brel songs, but let’s get a couple of things clear before you get your coat on and race off into the distance.
Firstly I am generally a non-fan of tribute shows.
Secondly the set has at its core a meaty selection of songs penned by Lukeman himself which stand up very well to the quality of the numbers he interprets.
Thirdly there is Jack L’s voice which is a thing of beauty: by turns its warmth, range, power and raucousness are worked into the material, flawless in pitch and endless in mellow tone which envelops the audience and draws them into the material.
There are plenty of interpreters of Brel’s work at Edinburgh every year. They generally come equipped varying combinations of good voice, theatricality, campness and wit. My experience is that many offer two out of the four – Jack L is lavishly equipped with the lot and his enthusiasm for the work is evident.
He starts accompanied by keyboards and drums for Newman ‘s Lonely At The Top, Guilty and It’s Money That I Love, adds a guitarist before ripping through a dazzling run of his own material including Georgie Boy and the pin drop hush of Stardust.
The evening finishes with trio of Brel songs.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the night is how Lukeman and his band make what is a very uninviting space a place of their own – the venue is a 1980′s style lecture hall! At time of writing two shows remain, so get your asses down there – it’s the best show that £5 can buy.