Jack Garratt - O2 Academy, Bristol
The past few years have been busy but quiet for emerging star Jack Garratt, filled with playing small venues, working on his album and accumulating a dedicated fanbase. 2016 however has been explosive - he was announced as this year's Brits Critic's Choice and in February released his debut album Phase, and now he's playing his biggest venues yet.
Garratt's high range vocals hold an intensity that is best absorbed live, the power of his voice initially takes the crowd aback, triggering appreciative murmurs and shocked expressions. There's no choice but to be immersed in the music as the overwhelming bass pounds through the building, vibrations shake every body in heavy bass songs such as 'Far Cry' and every perfected beat is felt and heard. The way he embodies his music is fascinating to watch, his multitasking is impeccable and his body becomes almost behemoth as he switches between combinations of simultaneous drumming, keyboard, guitar playing, synthesizing and stage lighting control. Mid-set he asks the crowd if they want to hear a cover and is met by cheers as he embarks on a unique and well-executed mash-up of Craig David's '7 Days' and Justin Timberlake's 'Senorita', combining the classic tunes with his synth artistry into a cover like no other.
And Garratt's not averse to comedy, it's a staple at his gigs. He has plenty of material to work with due to the incessant outbursts of adoration from the crowd and the harmless heckling from hardcore fans that leads to lengthy crowd interaction and jokes that have the whole audience in stitches. Garratt's brave outfit choice of green dungarees prompted a 'DUNG-A-REES' chant that repeated throughout the whole gig, and rather than be offended Garratt joined in, even creating a keyboard tune to accompany the night's anthem. The crowd's devotion is blatant throughout and lyrics are belted back during favourites like the moving 'Weathered' and hit single 'Worry'. At one point the quiet 'My House Is Your Home' is introduced and immediately a murmured wave of shushing breaks out before everyone watches in silent awe.
This is only the start for Jack Garratt but the way he incites such passion from a crowd signals a very bright future with undoubted success as he expands his repertoire.