Fresh from having smashed a 20 year old record for vinyl sales with latest release Lazaretto, Jack White today played a superb set at Glastonbury.
Lazaretto’s all-singing all-dancing “ultra-vinyl” record smashed vinyl sales records with 40,000 first week sales, backing White’s own mantra, “Your Turntable’s Not Dead”. The ultra vinyl record plays from the inside out, projects a hologram as it spins, has two versions of an intro to a song dependent upon where you place the needle, tracks hidden in the centre labels, plus a matte finish to resemble an old 78 RPM on one side. And that’s just the standard version. The deluxe one (vault members only) can do the washing up, and will even turn out guests who overstay their welcome at dinner parties.
All of which is lovely, but – as ever -it’s onstage that we get to see Jack White without all the gimmicks.
Backed by a crack band that feel like a Vegas lounge band, but not one you’ll ever have experienced before, White’s show offered instant energy and more bite than Louis Suarez, where previous act Robert Plant had offered comfort.
Icky Thump opened the show, then Dead Leaves…. as we were reminded what brought Jack here in the first place. The songs are fleshed out, we miss Meg’s drumming on some of those deeper White Stripes cuts, but this is still a heck of a band. On “Temporary Ground” from the new album White harmonises with his violin player.
White, dressed all in black, prowled around the stage like a caged panther, restless and impatient. Where Plant nursed his back catalogue, white attacked his.
Like his business empire and, one suspects, the man himself, the set jumped from one idea to the next. Here an old White Stripes song, then a Metallica riff (was that Enter Sandman?) as a nod to the headliners.
Still retaining a preference to play off his drummer, White nevertheless bounced around all his band and their myriad of instruments, theremin, fiddle, keys, piano et al whilst swigging from what resembled a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne. He plays more to his musicians than the crowd it seems, looking to generate energy from within the band to create something special.
The set list included a lovely “I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends” saw duelling violins on “Lazaretto” and ends on “Seven Nation Army”.
All that was needed was an appearance by Dolly Parton herself for a rendition of “Jolene” but it was not to be….
Jack White will be back in the UK for more shows in the Autumn: don’t miss him.
Categories: Live Reviews