Sometimes you get an offer you can’t refuse – and that was certainly the case when Styleable was invited to attend an exclusive HP Lounge gig with Jack Garratt. By Ellie Day
The night was held at One Embankment and took place to showcase HP’s brand new Spectre laptop; as the world’s thinnest laptop it’s both sleek enough to slip in your bag without giving you serious shoulder strain and also incredibly powerful (Intel® Core™ i5 and i7 processors, for any tech aficionados). There are also the crystal clear Bang and Olufsen stereo speakers and it comes in rose gold – not too shabby.
When we’d finished admiring the laptops on show and sampling the circling cocktails and canapés, the real show began – Jack Garrett took to the stage. The winner of last year’s Brit’s Critic’s Choice and BBC Sound of, you’d be forgiven for expecting an ambulatory ego to saunter onto the stage. Nothing could have been further from the truth – faithful to his bedroom producer roots, Jack’s on-stage persona is that of a man who remains surprised by his own meteoric success. He needn’t be –his prowess as a quadruple threat is evident; writing, producing, singing and playing his own songs to critical acclaim. With slots at both Radio One’s Big Weekend and Glastonbury in the next few months, Jack Garrett is clearly a star in ascendancy – and from watching him perform, it’s not hard to see why.
Bouncing from keys to strings to vocals like some mellifluous Tigger, all the while making full use of the famed loop pedal and sample pad to layer songs like ‘Worry’ and ‘Fire’, it was a high-octane performance and one that left the crowd wanting more. With a cross-genre style which blends dubstep, electro, synth, acoustic and electro – among others – his style is inimitable and often frenzied. Comparisons to Ed Sheeran feel inevitable, but lazy, as making the loop pedal the common link between the two seems reductive – after watching him perform, it seems fair to say that Jack Garratt is more than the sum total of his collective instrumental parts.
One thing’s for sure – Jack is working the one man band vibe credibly for the first time since Dick van Dyke circa the Mary Poppins era. And long may it continue.
If you want to get a sense of what the night looked like, check out Jack’s performance of ‘Surprise Yourself’ here: