Following a truly transcendent performance at Paradise Music Festival in 2016, it is no wonder that Julia Jacklin accumulated enough fans for two shows at The Corner at the end an extensive international album tour. I only caught the tail-end of support act Jaala‘s set in which proved to be a surprisingly strange choice. The harsh and strange conclusion of the set was very at odds with the delicate and heartfelt headline performance to follow.
As the curtain opens on the stage, the classic track ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by The Bee Gees plays and the band walk on, a small display of Julia Jacklin’s quirky sense of humour. The first song ‘Lead Light‘ is a typically slow and emotive track which achieves the incredible, quietening the rowdy Corner audience. Julia’s voice commands attention through its sheer beauty alone. It is the audible expression of the bittersweet mix of melancholy and happiness which is also reflected in her incredible lyricism.
“I appreciate it, honest”, she says, thanking the audience softly between tracks in a quiet and pensive tone. She dedicates a new song called ‘My Love’ to her newborn nephew. “But the song is about me”, she quips, expressing the highly self-reflective place that her songs come from. The band perfectly complement her performance while also backing off when needed, and occasionally leaving the stage altogether to allow her to perform solo.
The band helps the set reach a punchy end with Jacklin’s renowned single, ‘Pool Party’ – unsurprisingly receiving the most applause. However, the emotional and powerful ode to her family members ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win’ closes the set without a dry eye in the room. So powerful an end that the Like A Version famous cover of ‘Someday’ by The Strokes as an encore seems disruptive. With songwriting as good as Julia Jacklin’s, there’s no need for an encore cover.
*Feature image by Greg Holland