The Hospital Club is a Private Members Club in Covent Garden, London, and houses some of the best creative industries due to their live performance spaces, lounges and galleries. This Friday was no exception, housing Helen and the Sirens for an acoustic set to start, a bit of Samuel Jack, and then a full set from Helen and the Sirens. The all-female, 6 piece band began the evening with alternative pop acoustic material, each one boasting an incredible talent. They are both choral and poetic, challenging a new genre that isn’t represented in popular music today. Warming the crowd with their delightful vocals, Helen is effortlessly poignant and though some of their music is quite serious and slow – they soon get the crowd going with their “Prosthetic Ball Song”. A funky and catchy tune about an ex-boyfriend who had testicular cancer and now sports a prosthetic, the “Pa pa pa’s” were an absolute corker.
Soon it was time for Samuel Jack to take to the stage. Opening track “Making it Rain” brought his rugged, soulful voice to life. The artists vocals are accomplished, and it’s no surprise to hear that they opened The Avalon Stage at Glastonbury in 2015. His soothing and powerful tone is easy to become attached to, and he has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the word go. “Remember Me” hooks with harmonies and primal, gritty vocals and with a clear gospel-drive to the lyrics “When you lay me down, lay me down to sleep, wake me up in peace, Oh Lord show me the way”. Think of a more rugged and unpredictable Sam Cooke or Sam Smith – this particular Sam is provocative raw talent, with heck lots of acapella talent to boot.
“All the Things” is a quieter moment, accompanied by his Cajon box drum player, this time on the cello. The sound is striking, it’s almost impossible to believe the layers of the song are coming from just two people, and two instruments. This is what you’d call real magic. Samuel’s relaxed attire disguises his soulful and indulgent vocal, with tracks like “Surrender” being echoed through the members club Oak Room. If you close your eyes it’s almost as if you’re listening to a soothing Gospel choir, only there are only four of them on stage. The acapella moves the audience as if it’s a raging anthem, it’s almost upsetting to hear the final song “Let it all out” has started, as it means they’re close to the end of a memorable set. “I was raised by the sounds and the words of redemption song” is innovative and compels the crowd to join in with “Let it all out”, with a little guidance from Samuel Jack of course. Harmonies are as bold and beautiful as they started, the band showing no signs of slowing down or losing momentum.
Samuel Jack has a sense of depth often lost with acts of this particular generation, and fans will now eagerly anticipate the next chapter of soul-stirring music from the man himself.
Let it All Out EP by Samuel Jack was released on 26th August via Landon Records.
This Samuel Jack article was written by Annalise Watson, a GIGsoup contributor