There are some days when everything in the world seems to be goingagainst you. We’ve all had them, but tonight it’s happening to a heck of alot of people on the London Underground.
Some bright spark had the idea to shut down major parts of the arterylinking central London to the west and Heathrow airport on weekends. At 5pmon a Saturday evening, what should have been a rudimentary hour’s journeyturned into a ridiculous three hour one. Couple this with a stale shift atwork and a whirring headache, could my mood have been any worse?
Cue Jack Johnson. His inexorable rise has baffled critics who don’t dighis non revolutionary “cruise ship” music. But where full time critics areoverloaded with promos and devote their high brows to scouring for the nextgenius to pontificate or hyperbolate over, the public absorbs what feelsright and taps the pulse.
So it is this musical quasi-democracy that has yielded Jack Johnson,million selling singer-songwriting superstar and, as “the industry” maybe reading this review, Brit Award Winning Best International Newcomer. Oh,and it helps the man can write a tune or two.
Whatever chaos was occurring outside the doors of the Apollo, it was shutout the moment the stage lights dimmed to the sound of Take That erafemale screams.
Jack Johnson could scratch his ass, pick his nose and eat it and stillprovoke shrills of delight. Okay, maybe not that, but pretty much anything hedid was guaranteed to do so.
With projections of postcard shots (probably taken from Johnson’sbackyard in Oahu) the ambience was set for an evening of plentiful feel goodmoments. Johnson cruised through In Between Dreams, a portion of On and On,and a few tender chunks of Brushfire Fairytales – a new definition for valuefor money.
It is impossible to place value on Johnson when in his free flowingelement, a croon, an ooh, a simple pluck or sleight of hand which the likesof Fortunate Fool and If I Could are crafted into moments of indelibleperfection.
There was a warm air to the show, almost like a get together, which isdifficult to pull off in a venue of the Apollo’s size. Partly due toJohnson’s style and partly his backing band, who were as casual as can get.ALO’s Zach Gill, on piano and in his socks (complimentary toJohnson’s flip flops) every so often felt the amusing need to exercise asit-up on his stool. The girls loved it. They loved it even more when hepicked up the accordion for Belle.
Re-emerging for the encore, Johnson stayed solo for a good dozen songs,dropping Sublime‘s classic Badfish and even some Pearl Jambefore ending with a sprightly Better Together.
And with that it was back onto the cold streets of London, back to thereal world. It was good to escape while we could.