Photos by Valerio Berdini

Jack White has always been a dynamite live act so figuratively speaking there were no doubts that last night's opener gig at the HMV Forum was always going to be great, from the moment the date was set. White was in London promoting his debut solo album Blunderbuss (released on the 23/04/12) and although he had announced that he would be including music from all of his previous bands I don't think the fans could have comprehended how jam packed it was going to be, with smile inducing fist pumping greasy rock and roll from all of his previous incarnations. Whether you're a fan of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather or simply from his latest solo outing this gig was catered for you.

Songs and arrangements of well loved classics were reinterpreted and played loud, fast and full on from the opener 'Dead Leaves on The Dirty Ground' to 'Blue Blood Blues' which showed his new all girl backing group showing their chops and proving once again the Prince ideal that a band full of guys is great but if you can find a group of girls that play just as good as the guys, always go with the girls, as it looks ten times cooler and sexier. Ruby Amanfu (from Sam & Ruby fame pop pickers) is on hand to handle backing vocals as well as a duet with White on 'Love Interruption' and with the incredible Brook Waggoner on keys and piano it shows that Jack has been tearing through Nashville's music scene with vigour of late and plucking the ripest talent available. As well as playing fan favourites such as 'Hotel Yorba' (complete with a searing country violin solo), 'My Doorbell', 'Top Yourself' (from The Raconteurs era) and the incendiary 'Ball and a Biscuit' (recently voted number 1 favourite Jack White song by Rolling Stone magazine) he also included 'Two Against One' from the Rome project with producer Daniele Luppi and Dangermouse which got a great reception, and also helped pace the set and perfectly led the more quiet section of the gig into 'We Are Going to Be Friends'.


This never seemed like an artist simply playing it safe or choosing songs that he felt would go down the best with the press, despite playing so many hits and fan favourites. The song selection as a whole was concrete proof that the well of cast iron material available to him at any one time is limitless, and whereas others look at him as a obsessive workaholic creating bands and projects time after time, almost schizophrenically changing his repertoire and the look/image of his band, he is just creating a legacy that will live forever.

The gig ended with a solo Jack White and acoustic guitar gently playing the Lead Belly country blues classic 'Goodnight, Irene' which sent the fans away happy and content, and proving that including Blues, Country, Noise, Power and Attitude into a single evening can best be described as simply Rock and Roll...

Jack White is set to return in June for more UK gigs, including a set at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend event in London on June 23.







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