Friday, April 20, 2007

Review: Jack Peñate, Pure Groove, London 19.04.07

For someone with a surname similar to that of a traditional, violent, Mexican, sweet-grabbing, papier-mâché-smashing game, it was good to discover Jake Peñate did not need to be hit with a stick to get the treats. The sunny April afternoon saw the seminal but tiny Pure Groove record shop filled to the brim and boiling over with fans, with some forced into watching through the windows from the street outside.

He started his short but splendid set by belting out new single 'Spit At Stars', a wonderful blend of guitar pop, soul and charm. His set also included a version of the more ballad-esque 'My Yvonne' that received full vocal audience participation. They may not have been the best at grasping the harmonies, but ten out of ten for effort. Another highlight was the racy 'Second Minute or Hour'. This came after Jack’s witty (and apparently hangover induced) anecdotes about nothing of any importance, his Bob Dylan and Morrissey impressions and something random about balding twelve year olds. The strange crowd banter didn't detract from the music though, with Jack nailing every song with whole-hearted feeling and charisma.

So, is this cheeky South London lad as hot right now as he’s been made out to be? On the evidence of this performance yes. And if he fails to win you over with his music, then the mischievous grin and happy manner will get you.

Jack Peñate's Myspace
Jack Peñate's Website
Pure Groove

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