Jack Garratt – Cargo – 04/12/14 Review


As I left Cargo late last Thursday night, the slow realisation of having to articulate what I had just witnessed began to set in. I tried to conjure up words eloquent enough to sum up the experience in an effortless and understated way without delving into the chasm of clichés so often synonymous with reviews.


Despite foraging through my vocabulary, I have been left with no choice but to open this short piece with a simple statement; Jack Garratt is a truly impeccable musician and I implore everybody to witness his phenomenal talent.

Emerging to the raucous cries of the full-to-capacity crowd, the young singer-songwriter seemed endearingly abashed by the reaction he provoked. Opening with ‘I Couldn’t Want You Anyway’ the clever use of pauses between tender vocal lines made the crowd fall silent and still. Even with so many bodies crammed together in such a small space you could have genuinely heard a pin drop. Carefully constructing layer upon layer of sound, Jacks melodic and surprisingly high-pitched vocals were the only sound to cut through as he took a drum stick to the sample pads surrounding him and the beat swelled.

The aspect that struck me most about Jack’s live performance is how his various influences creep into his music, seemingly innately, as if inspiration strikes him mid-motif: from the bluesy guitar riffs to the jazzy chord extensions and soulful yet beautifully raw vocals. His live music, although instantly recognisable, often incorporates these elements so much so that the song continuously evolves into a truly unique rendition, thus making the performance all the more captivating to watch.

Watch a snippet of The Love You’re Given (live at Cargo) here:

Jack Garratt : The Love You're Given : Live @ Cargo, London


Taking a brief moment to sing a chorus of Happy Birthday to his sister, it’s refreshing to see how much Jack accredits his success to the support of his family. It’s also touching to see how much passion the young musician puts into his craft and how humbly he receives praise for his efforts. Frequently declaring how overwhelmed he was on stage, this only fed the crowds admiration for him as they applauded seemingly endlessly after each song. Off stage, adoring fans swarmed to congratulate him as he stood by the merch stand; he gratefully indulged each individual, chatting to every person intensely, signing personalised autographs and taking photos. And no review would be complete, lest I fail to mention, the tremendous beard that personifies his image. Jack even joked that, being in Shoreditch, his identity had become somewhat diluted as he ‘looked just like everyone else’.

To sum up, watching Jack Garratt was easily the best live performance I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Put simply: if you get the chance to catch him live, I could not recommend it more highly.

Full Set List:

I Couldn’t Want You Anyway
Youth Stains
The Love You’re Given
Surprise Yourself

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