Jack Broadbent // Dom Glynn // Live Review // The Jazz Cafe // London
The rustic blues, rock, modern shuffle of guitar slide superior Jack Broadbent was brought to Camden’s infamous Jazz Cafe on a tantalising Wednesday evening. Six albums, countless busking tours around Europe and performances alongside artists such as Ronnie Wood and Peter Frampton numbers no small feat but it’s nothing but a scratch upon the surface of what the future is already bringing for musicians. Known for his ever-evolving musical craft and street-style performance charisma, the night was a sellout and a source of great intrigue about what Broadbent would bring to his show.
Opening up the show was the fingerpicking guitarist and musician Dom Glynn. Described as ‘outlaw country blues’ I had previously caught him at both his London residencies (Spiritual Bar/Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues Bar) and had been immediately impressed with his offhand techniques and sterling composition prominence. Opening with ‘Cains Blues’ the heat of a blues-soaked evening was upon us. With a husky smoke balancing his voice Glynn sings of southern-styled troubles against a backdrop of whisky and liquor. ‘Good For Nothing Blues’, ‘Singing To Survive’ and ‘Mama I Need Help’ each has their own selective drawl as Glynn showcases his signature playing style which both impress and excites. The murmur of the crowd around me dropped favourable ‘awe’s at his work. ‘Don’t Know The Blues At All’ follows on after ‘Ain’t No Cowboys’ before Glynn finishes with the recently dropped single ‘Money In The Drawer’. With an upcoming full-length album due to be released this May 1st it was a setlist of both the glorious old and the much anticipated new. For anyone looking for their next intoxicating bash of a good time, fast-playing, soul-warming solo act then Dom Glynn is the one to watch and even more so, the one to look out for.
It’s a spot-on intro act to the main event of the night, Jack Broadbent. Joining him on stage was his father and musician indoctrinator, Mick Broadbent (of Bram Tchaikovsky) on bass. The Jazz Cafe offers a gorgeous combination of grandiose stage settings in tandem with a wonderfully intimate feel, making it the perfect place for Broadbent’s sound. Sat with a plethora of guitars propped up behind them they launch into popular number and Canned Heat cover, ‘On The Road Again’, taken from his 2015 album, ‘Along The Trails of Tears’. The reverb drench dropping into a shuffle feel foot stomp makes for the perfectly procured open track. Having had a lifetime of rehearsal together there isn’t a single note passed over or beat tighter than a nail between Broadbent and his father. An absolute treat to see that kind of in-sync duality onstage.
Broadbent’s initial step into the industry’s spotlight came with his mastery of bottleneck slide guitar play. Tonight it’s as brilliant to watch as it is to hear, each flick of his arm creating a rogue-like ambient quality to his playing. With that, we’re taken with ’Makin’ My Way’ before the attitude blues song ‘She Said’. Broadbent has that raw live capability to captivate his audience without a demand; just pure good music that people want to enjoy. ‘Willin’ is his emotional hook whilst ‘Ride’ gets thrown out to us with a switch into a more rock-ridden night, his fingers working their quick pluck magic. ‘Woman’ eases us into the second half of the show as Broadbent asks for more delicious reverb and his father heads off the stage to give his son the undisputed limelight, “Dad can go have a cigarette break!”
The new track ‘Better Man’ receives its audience approval with ease before ‘Hard Livin’’ and ‘Don’t Be Lonesome’ do just the same with knowing hip sways very much present. Another jump into originals ‘Midnight Radio’ and ‘Grace’ sees us through to the bittersweet end of the performance with the classic ‘Hit The Road Jack’. Any top-end musician knows what makes a good wrap up and Broadbent does that here with the easy suave of a rockstar and the coolness of a bluesman.
Catching him after the show he was in person as he was onstage: warm, on the point and holding all the qualities of a musician who knows he has nothing to prove in his own great talents. The only way to enjoy a Wednesday night and most certainly not the last time I’ll be heading out to watch Jack Broadbent do what he does best.