Jack Lukeman, Gig Review. Epstein Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

You can hear all the songs in the world, you can find a way to lose your soul along the way, sell it for a pocket full of gold and exchange it all to listen to the songs of every artist for the rest of your life. However, there will come a time when a song that is hugely influential on the shape of the conscious of so many, suddenly becomes something more, more dramatic, mixing patience and urgency in the same breath, then for all the songs and renditions that have gone before, you cannot help but feel sorry for anyone who tries to top them.

Supporting someone as musically prestigious as Graham Gouldman is a hard but enjoyable task, it could be considered a moment of purity for anyone but one that you know you have to pull something very special out of the bag in which to capture the mood of the night, of the occasion. It is not for Mr. Gouldman of course but it is for the artist themselves, to surrender to the moment and pick out the most beautiful plum from the bag.

For Jack Lukeman the evening in Liverpool was always going to be special, a sense of magic wrapped in the cloak of the delightful enchantment and the melancholic ecstasy which so few can muster; a sense that despite the short time on the Epstein stage, Mr. Lukeman was going to come out on top as the bag of goodies swung from his guitar playing hand.

The song Magic Days may have kicked off the set but it was to the musician’s reading of the song made famous by the inspirational and sublime Paul Robeson, the lyrically majestic Ol’ Man River. To capture the point of the song, the sense of Time slowly eroding away at the banks of security and the demands of tide as it eats into a person’s soul, is to harness affection, respect and clarity for the unquenchable thirst we possess for self destruction and lauding the past.

Jack Lukeman gave the audience the best of times as support on the night and in songs such as The King of Soho, Stardust, Little Man and a fantastic bow of thanks to the recently passed Tom Petty with a wonderful arrangement of I Won’t Back Down, the night was made so special and so serene.

To perform as support to Graham Gouldman is to be seen as an honour, to fly the flag so well is to be honoured by the audience.

Ian D. Hall