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Gig review...
Jack Penate
And so the latest London contender lands up in town to see if he's here to stay or the popular flavour of the month. Opening with album opener 'Spit At Stars', this musical magpie whose songs all sound so familiar yet a little bit different, begins his evening bouncing around the stage, the crowd joining in proving that what works in the capital goes down well in the provinces.

'Learning Lines' with its "oh oh oh ohs" is joyous on this last night of the tour, and Mr Penate is feeling the strain, but pushing it for us, still bouncing round like Tigger with a guitar and 'Run For Your Life' is a smart defence of modern life, coming across like Jamie T fronting The Kooks.

Forthcoming single 'Have I Been A Fool' is followed by a bit of love for the audience dispensing snacks (nuts and scampi fries) to the crowd, and checking that we're all ok to the back, and 'Torn On The Platform' is a sing-along for us all to close the regular set.

Coming out alone for the encore, he is soon joined by his backing bassist and drummer (respectively his fluffer and stylist as well apparently) for a rip-roaring version of 'Just Be Good To Me' (probably best remembered as being sampled for 'Dub Be Good To Me') which, along with the slightly darker 'When We Die' indicates that he may have a future beyond this first flush of success. Because, that is his problem - he's not as annoying as Nash, as well-connected as Allen, as poppy as The Kooks, or as charismatic as either Jamie T or Ms Winehouse, and so could easily get lost in the large number of 'quirky' contemporary London artists. However, he will be remembered for tour closing 'Second, Minute or Hour', a lovely piece of pop.

William Johnston

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Gig Details
Venue: Spring & Airbrake
Location: Belfast
Date: 21/10/2007

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