Music

Jack Savoretti – Acoustic Nights Live

Two years ago today the incredibly talented singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti was in Melbourne on his whirlwind mini tour of Australia. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of this British-Italian legend, so I was extremely looking forward to his concert on May 4th, 2016. Unfortunately, that night, the force was not with me and I was hospitalised with appendicitis, thus missing the show. I was devastated. I cried so much because all I wanted was to be at his concert, singing out loud, cheering on the man that I discovered by accident in 2008 and who knows, maybe even having the chance to meet him after the show.

Fast-forward to April 16, 2018 – Location: Milan, Italy

I planned my annual leave this year around Jack’s brand new Italian tour – Acoustic Nights Live. I knew that if I wanted to see him, I had to make the long journey from Australia to Italy because he wasn’t announcing any dates Down Under any time soon. So I organised my flights, hotels, everything and got myself a VIP pack to his concert at Teatro dal Verme, in the centre of fashionable Milano.

When it came time for the actual VIP experience, I was a mess! I was so nervous! Jack’s tour manager Jon Ayarza came and took us down to the area where we would listen in on Jack’s soundcheck before the meet and greets. As we entered the theatre I couldn’t believe that I was moments from seeing the man whose music means the world to me. There he was. On the stage with his guitar, greeting everyone and being the warmest, most beautiful human-being. He entertained us along with a few members of his amazing band and then came down to meet us all.

I was terrified and excited all at the same time. He was there, I was there, and after almost 10 years of following his musical journey I was going to finally meet my idol. He said something to me in Italian at first but when I spoke English to him, he instantly switched! He was so down-to-earth, so kind, so sincere and even remembered, as I was telling him my life story, how two years ago while he was in Melbourne, two girls (my sisters) came up to him after the show and told the story of how their sister was hospitalised that night. He amazed me and my parents with his ability to recall this, he really did!

We took a few photos together, embraced a few times and then I presented him with some chocolates from his hometown of Genoa and my illustrated cartoon-version of himself on a card I had designed. I was on cloud 9 and I don’t think I’ve fully come down yet!

Jack usually plays his music with his wonderful band but for these Italian shows he stripped it back and just had the piano-guitar combo along with a violinist and cellist. They were all sensational! We were entertained for almost 2.5 hours with music from all his past albums, the majority from the earlier ones. Jack gave his all with each performance, his voice shining with the passion and conviction that we’ve all grown to love. He was incredible and the entire night was a dream come true. I was in tears for so much of it because I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be there, in his company again, especially after the last failed attempt. Each song was arranged acoustically, making it fresh, raw and unpredictable. He left his heart and soul on that stage and received a warm standing ovation from a very vocal Milanese crowd.

Jack’s Acoustic Nights Live continue in Rome from May 21st and all his other tour dates can be found here. If you have the chance to go, please do! You won’t be disappointed because this man is the hardest working musician out there and his talent is undeniable. That night in Italy was so very special in so many ways.

Hopefully a DVD will be released after this tour and we can all re-live these shows over and over again.

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Music

Jack Savoretti “Sleep No More” Review

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Not many artists in the music industry today can touch your soul through music the way Jack Savoretti can. His fifth studio album “Sleep No More” was released on October 28th 2016 and is charting at No.6 on the Official UK Albums chart. I’ve been a fan of Jack’s from the first moment I heard him sing in Munich in 2008 and it has been such a beautiful thing watching him evolve into the confident, charismatic singer-songwriter he is today, finally getting the recognition he deserves.

The first track on the album “When We Were Lovers” is the perfect opening track as this rhythmic ballad sets the mood for the music that follows. Jack expresses so much raw emotion in his voice and performs with such passion that it’s hard not to be completely spellbound by him, especially during his live shows with his incredible band.

“Deep Waters” performed acoustically sounds even better than the album version in my opinion and it would be amazing to have this version on a future record. If you close your eyes and listen to the beautiful guitar music accompanying a man with a husky voice like Jacks’s you’ll go to some amazing places in your mind. Pure bliss and a personal highlight for me!

The third track “I’m Yours” has been described by many fans as the perfect first dance song at their wedding and is so beautifully delivered by Jack, I can’t help but feel as if he wrote this song for his beautiful wife, Jemma Powell, describing their life together through poignant story telling.

With each track it’s easy to get a sense of who Jack is and where his music comes from, even if you’ve never heard his older songs before. “Helpless”, “Only You” and “Start Living in the Moment” are all bold songs with a driving drum beat you can’t help but tap your feet to. Jack’s brilliance really shines through in “We are Bound”, “Tight Rope” and “Sleep No More” as each track showcases his amazing vocal range and songwriting ability. “Troubled Souls” is a powerful track (one of my favourites) and has a catchy Eurovision vibe.

“Any Other Way” is an upbeat track which perfectly sums up how far Jack has come after almost 10 years in the music industry. It tells a beautiful story through its lyrics and is a track you can’t help but dance to. “Lullaby Loving” is such a beautiful way to end the album and has a slight resemblance to “Harder than Easy” with its melancholy and haunting vocals. Jack delivering the line “Don’t give up on our love (x3)…Don’t give up on us” is a highlight for me because it’s such a bittersweet moment knowing that this is the last song on the album and after he delivers these lines, it’s all over. When the silence hits after this track, I always feel an overwhelming sense of emotions. I’m so proud of how far he has come and so grateful that he didn’t give up making music in the face of adversity.

Jack’s fifth album is absolutely brilliant. After touring around his native UK this month, Jack will next head to other parts of Europe and the US next year. Fingers crossed for a return to Australia very soon as well.

Go out there and buy this amazing musician’s album and listen for yourself how music of today can be so meaningful in its lyrics, so poignant in its delivery and so beautiful in its musicality.

-Naira Tamanian

“Graceful Avenue” Founder

Travel

Mesmerised by Munich

View of Frauenkirche

I had fallen in love with the idea of travelling after my spontaneous, first solo trip to Prague. The study semester had begun by the start of October and I was up to my elbows in architecture projects, assignments and tests at the Fachhochschule Mainz (Technical College) in Germany. I knew that in order to get the most out of my study abroad program I would have to find a balance between study commitments and travel, something that I found hard to do given the “Joey Potter” style of dedication I took to my education! I found out that one of my favourite singer-songwriters was performing in Munich in November and began looking at accommodation options and tickets to his show.

My family always jokes about me being the ambitious go-getter, the sort of person that cannot get rid of an idea once it’s planted firmly in her head and someone who follows through with anything she sets her mind to. I look at it as one of my biggest strengths. Without ambition I wouldn’t have become an international exchange student in the first place, nor would I have lived in London for 2 years or even started my own stationery label. Long story short, I found cheap hostel accommodation in the heart of Munich for two nights, bought one ticket for the concert and since I was going all the way to southern Germany, I even booked a trip to the beautiful, neighbouring city of Salzburg, Austria for a day trip!

My story continues in the Bavarian capital. I caught a morning train from Mainz to Frankfurt and from there took another high-speed train to Munich, whizzing past idyllic German villages and picture-perfect sceneries. It was a dull and rainy day unfortunately and it was quite cold in mid-November. I checked-in to my hostel and began exploring the city immediately. Munich was such a comfortable city to explore on foot, but the rain however was making it extremely difficult to enjoy what I was seeing. So at every opportunity I went inside shops, cafes and churches to stay warm and dry. The churches in Munich were incredible. From the Late Baroque style of the Asamkirche to the Italian Baroque style of the Theatinerkircher and the iconic Frauenkirche with its late Gothic interior style, Munich’s churches left me speechless. I spent the rest of the day wandering through their main square Marienplatz, home to the New City Hall, Fish Fountain, column of St. Mary and the Old Town Hall. My favourite part was how everyone’s mood instantly became uplifted upon the theatrical Glockenspiel striking midday, with music and small dancing figurines taking us back to our childhoods if only for a moment.

I stopped by a small cafe to grab a bite before returning to my hostel room and getting ready for my night out. I caught the tram to my destination and stood in the crowd waiting for the show to start. The support act was Jack Savoretti, a person whom I’d never heard of before that night and someone whom I began to admire from that night forward. He captivated me and the entire audience with his soulful innocence and charm, with melodies that took us to another universe. Readers of my blog would know that Jack and I have gone on quite a journey since that cold night in Munich, as I made sure that during my time in London I would go and see more of his shows whenever I could.

Then Gavin DeGraw took to the stage and astounded his fans by how down-to-earth he was and the incredible range of his vocals. Of course being a major One Tree Hill fan I was pleased when he performed the show’s theme song “I don’t want to be” and the majority of songs from his album Chariot. It was a brilliant gig and I’m so delighted that I attended it despite being slightly petrified that I was in a cold, wet and dark city all by myself.

The next day I visited Salzburg but we’ll leave that for the next blog post. On my third day, the weather had improved and there were blue skies all day long. I decided to enter the world-famous Hofbräuhaus, one of Munich’s oldest beer halls. Their clientèle included the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush to name a few. I tried their famous white sausage with pretzel and drunk about 1/5th of my glass of beer. Feeling adventurous, I decided to climb a narrow, dark tower of St. Peter’s Church to the viewing platform on the top floor. From there I could see the entire city clear as crystal but unfortunately the Alps were not to be seen that day. The next morning I set of for Salzburg but we’ll leave that for another blog post.

Visitors to Southern Germany should definitely try to visit Munich if at least for one day, as it’s full of hidden churches, history, Bavarian culture, beautiful architecture and interesting people with stories to tell.

Music

Jack Savoretti – “Written in Scars” Review

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With the launch of his new album “Written in Scars” last week, Jack Savoretti is finally getting the recognition and acclaim he deserves. The album reached #13 in the official UK Chart. I’ve blogged about this wonderful artist in the past (Jack Savoretti: musician, dreamer, poet), but when an act is this talented and this good, it definitely requires more publicity. So here we are.

Jack’s music comes from the heart. Whether you’re listening to his music online or getting goosebumps from his sensational live shows, there’s no denying that this man is the real deal when it comes to emotional lyrics and powerful melodies. His husky voice draws you in, enticing you to listen and dream with every note. The album isn’t yet available for purchase in the Australian iTunes Store, so I’m listening to it on Spotify with his commentary on each new track. My copy of the album is on its way from the UK as we speak.

Jack’s music has evolved so much from his earlier years but each one still has his very unique stamp on it. This album showcases a bolder, braver artist, no longer afraid to challenge himself musically and go to new places previously unattainable. The true artist in Savoretti shines through, gaining him more recognition and keeping his long-time fans happy.

The opening track “Back to Me” sums this fierce new direction up beautifully and is a testament to how far Jack has come. The album progresses with bold music like “Home” and “Tie Me Down”, both strong melodically and a powerhouse in his vocals. The title track “Written in Scars” was the first song written for the album and sets a rebelious, even revolutionary mood that is evident throughout the entire record. In his own words this is “an album done with tremendous determination” and the final track “Fight ‘Til the End” really completes the album with a strong beat and repetition of the lyric “never back down”, showcasing that determination that Savoretti presents in each of the 11 tracks.

Interestingly enough during the commentary Jack mentions that all the music on this album was recorded on the same day it was written, an extraordinary achievement given the technological age we live in. This not only provides a great sense of authenticity to the music, but also helps it feel genuinely from the soul.

Here are two exclusive acoustic recordings of “Home” and “The Other Side of Love” (courtesy of HMV) filmed at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in London. You can catch Jack touring around the UK, with a select few shows in Italy also in the works. Please visit his website for more info and show your support.

Music

Jack Savoretti: musician, dreamer, poet

Happy Birthday to the incredibly talented musician, Jack Savoretti. I’m so honoured to be doing a post about one of my absolute favourite singer/songwriters ever, on the day he was born. Half Italian and half English, Jack’s poetic style of singing is unforgettable and his soulful renditions always leave you wanting more.

I discovered Jack’s music when I was in Germany for Gavin DeGraw’s European Tour in November, 2008. One cold autumn morning, I took the train from Mainz (the city where I was living and studying as an exchange student) to the beautiful Bavarian Alps town of Munich in the south. I had no idea who Gavin’s support act would be as I was just so excited to be attending my first ever European rock concert! As a huge One Tree Hill fan I was so thrilled to see Gavin DeGraw (who sings the opening track to the show) performing live before my very eyes. It would be a dream come true! I arrived quite early to the show, took my place in the crowd and waited patiently for the concert to begin. A man stepped out on stage in a cowboy hat and was holding a guitar. He opened his mouth and started to sing. No one moved for the entire gig and no one spoke a single word. The auditorium fell silent. Maybe I was so captivated that I  just didn’t hear anyone else, but all I remember is how mesmerising the husky voice of the singer was, how meaningful the lyrics were and how beautifully he was strumming the strings of his guitar. Jack entertained the audience for a while, thanked us for coming to the show and said goodbye. Gavin was on stage within the next 20 minutes and he was amazing as always, but I don’t think anyone could quite get over how entrancing the opening act was.

The next day I took the train from Munich to Salzburg in the early morning. I still remember the exact feeling I had during that ride. The music from the night before was still very much in my mind and of all the songs I heard that night I had Jack’s soulful “Between the Minds” firmly stuck in my head. I had never heard that song before the show, but the fact that I was still humming it in my mind the next day said a lot. I was completely hooked on Jack’s music after the first time I heard him sing live.

I was determined to get my hands on his first album. My dad was visiting me from London for Christmas that year and I asked if he could buy me his album as it was easier to find in Jack’s native UK. On Christmas morning I opened my laptop’s CD drive, put in the CD and listened to the entire album non-stop. I had shivers down my spine from “Dreamers” and “Dr. Frankenstein”, amongst others. I became a true fan of this man’s work and tracked his progress with the subsequent album “Harder than Easy” from Australia.

As most of you know I spent the past 2 years in the UK, running my own gift shop Graceful Avenue in Watford. I was thrilled to be able to attend more of Jack’s shows whilst I was in his home country. I saw him perform at The Garage in October, 2011, and then at Bush Hall in June, 2012. Each show just got better and better, and Jack’s confidence grew and grew as did his fan-base. Jack’s third album, “Before the Storm”, arrived by post to my London address while I was on vacation with my sister in Italy that summer. I can confidently say that he’s come a long way and his music has evolved greatly. His third album is terrific and I love most of the tracks on there!

Standing there in his Bush Hall show in London, in the front row with my braces, smiling from ear to ear, listening to the most beautiful musician sing the most beautiful songs ever written was such a highlight. The very first time I heard the song “Crazy Town” I was in love. Jack sung the song without his iconic guitar and was only accompanied by a pianist. His voice was so powerful and bold that he took the crowd to a place out of this world. That performance would have to be my favourite of his live songs because I remember exactly how it made me feel and the electric atmosphere in the room.

I’m so happy to have discovered this amazing man’s music. I can’t imagine my life without it. Thank you Jack for charming your way into my life for these past 5 years. You deserve to have your music heard by everyone in the world. I hope to see you performing in Australia one day. Happy Birthday!

See Jack performing “Crazy Town” at Bush Hall in London, June 2012 on this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blv0F-ArTyQ

Please visit: http://www.jacksavoretti.com/ to hear Jack’s other songs and find out more about him.

(Photos shown here are my own and cannot be reproduced, distributed or copied without my permission)