Jim White. Gosforth Civic Theatre. 8.9.18

Jim White knows how to ‘do’ between-song banter.  In fact, some would say he knows how to do it better than the very best.

Not content with simply entertaining tonight’s audience with his blend of melancholic-centred Americana, White’s banter takes us on a spoken word journey across the concept of Eternalism, his teenage lust for hard drugs, the importance of witnessing, and the virtues of being happy at the fortunes of past lovers.    An interesting, and intense, style of spoken word, White’s banter matches his style of songwriting; brutally honest, egoless and equal parts comedy to tragedy.  Tonight’s (musical) highlights ‘A perfect day to chase tornadoes’ and ‘Still waters’ set White’s stall out perfectly, both focusing on our authors attempts to find hope in an imperfect world; a style which simultaneously acknowledges both the light and dark sides of life.  Esoteric and acoustic in their feel, White leads the music with acoustic strums supported by sideman, and show stealer, Clive Barnes’ electric guitar wizardry and layered textures.

Interspersed with cycle pedals and stomp boxes, White and Barnes spend the evening producing music that scurries across the American rock spectrum.  Moments of dark, menacing, rock (‘Chase the dark away’) blend with moments of Sonic Youth-style guitar textures (‘Objects in motion’) as well as songs reminiscent of Gram Parson’s high-lonesome.  The result is an evening of beautifully written songs which draw inspiration from the majority of classic American sounds.

Personal and highly-impactful White’s show was deeply moving and purposefully introspective.  A lesson in the importance of honesty and speaking your truth.

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