I’ve seen some excellent shows over the last few years at Acapela Studios. But the one I was privileged to attend on Saturday 11th May was one of THE Best Gigs I have ever seen there.
The musicians who were performing were The Luke Jackson Trio – who consist of Luke Jackson on Vocals and acoustic guitar, Andy Sharps on Bass & Vocals and Elliott Norris on Drums, Guitar & Vocals.
I have seen Luke at least once a year since he released his first album to critical acclaim in 2012 with the Martyn Joseph produced More Than Boys. In 2013, Luke was pipped to the post of the BBC Folk Horizon Award by fellow Singer/Songwriting youngster Blair Dunlop. And it has been my delight to see how both of these artists have grown both as songwriters and performers in the past 7 years. Tonight the Acapela belonged to Luke Jackson. And by God, he owned the venue!
Luke has the opportunity to play with Andy as a Duo or with Elliott added to create a trio. Tonight we are treated to the Trio performance.
Tonight Luke takes to the stage alone to perform a blistering version of Ain’t No Trouble which can be found on his trio album – This Family Tree. And he blows the audience away immediately. It’s remarkable how the strength and depth of his voice has increased in just the last year. Let alone since 2012.
You could literally feel the anticipation in the air as the audience realised what an evening they were in for. To rapturous applause, Andy and Elliott came to the stage and launched into a splendid version of Anything But Fate which morphs into the Motown classic, I heard It Through The Grapevine. Quite a leap I hear you Folk fans saying but not for this young man. Ever since his debut album, that voice has been his trademark and I hear as much Soul in hos voice as Folk. And thinking about it, one of the beauties of following both Luke and Blair Dunlop’s careers has been to see them shake off their Folk roots to become impressive Singer Songwriters who have the ability to move between genres. It’s a beautiful thing to see. And for me, Luke is now a Soul singer as much anything else.