Since Wednesday morning, Jack Garratt must be one of few Brits to have shuffled even closer to our friends across the Atlantic as the bearded one-man-band stepped out in Sheffield with a new-found American twang to his words.
It’s been a long time coming though. Garratt, who swapped a leafy village in Buckinghamshire for the heights of Chicago over a year ago, admits his dismay for the current situation in the states despite becoming one of their own.
Fitting then, that the show unfolds like an American chat show performance, Garratt coming in with his hard hitters early on with ‘Breathe Life’ and ‘Weathered’. “If you don’t know the lyrics don’t worry about it you can just do what I do everyday and make them up” he jokes with the audience. Then, holding them in the palm of his hand, he turns the entertainer, teasing the intros of crowd-pleasing covers. Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Can’t Stop’ and Britney’s ‘…Baby One More Time’ all get the Jack Garratt treatment before he segues into his Craig David and Justin Timberlake mash-up, ‘7 Days/Senorita’. Tiresome it may become after you’ve seen it once but right now it’s the biggest trick at the party.
‘Fire’ unleashes Garratt’s most potent side; lashing around the stage like an octopus out of water, he’s at his best behind the drum kit and during his overindulgent guitar solos, free from the loop pedal’s shackles. “I’m not walking off stage and faking that I’m not gonna come back, of course I’m gonna come fucking back!” Garratt cackles pre-encore before offering the audience two ways he could end the show. Naturally, the choice of two more songs overrides the option for one so Garratt takes to the synth for a delicate rendition of ‘My House Is Your Home’ before another guitar shredding finale of ‘Worry’.
If for a second you can forget the number of instruments he wields around himself, Garratt alone is a vocal entertainer in his own right but bring it all together and he becomes the epitome of a Jack of all trades.
Words by Josh Shreeve. Photos by Ethan Weatherby.