Jack Penate Matinee Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Matinee is a pleasant surprise for anyone who expected 11 slices of perky...

Ian Wade 2007

22-yr old Jack Peñate already has a fair bit of showbiz in his blood: His granddad was writer Mervyn Peake, he was in a band which went on to become The Maccabees, and the poor lad was damned before the wider public had barely heard a note when he was mentioned, alongside Lily Allen, Kate Nash et al on the infamous hipster-baiting "LDN Is A Victim".

Having been cast as a posh kid slumming it – a general accusation tied mainly to any of the singer songwriters to have emerged primarily through MySpace – Jack cuts a unique dash with his curious shirts, and stage persona that sees him channeling everything from exuberant punk skanking through to Footloose-style freak outs. He’s certainly memorable, and after having an entrancing effect on anyone who’s witnessed any of his live shows or seen the semi-hand drawn videos to hit singles such as "Torn On the Platform" or "Second, Minute Or Hour" , he finally gets around to his debut album.

Matinee showcases 11 tracks of mainly quirky and hummably poptastic skiffle-pop, as best exemplified on the single and opener "Spit At Stars". However he shows welcome elements of deviation in the soulful "We Will Be Here"; the mellow blue-eyed soul of "Learning Lines"; the really rather lovely "My Yvonne" (which features a guest vocal from the fantastic Adele, who herself will be all over 2008 like a rash) and the tender closer, "When We Die", which comes complete with a gospel backing.

Matinee is a pleasant surprise for anyone who expected 11 slices of perky Housemartins-y bouncing. And thankfully it should be enough to distance himself from any of his fellow LDN victims. If it doesn’t sell millions, it should at least shift enough so he can afford a mirror to look at the state of himself before he leaves the house each morning.

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