Tuesday 13th March 2018
The Half Moon, Putney, London
Lynne Jackaman is a talented and gifted English Rock/Soul singer formerly of the band Saint Jude, who were a London-based Rock and Soul band. They released their debut album, ‘Diary Of A Soul Fiend’, in September 2010, which was produced by Chris Kimsey and featured a guest appearance from Ronnie Wood. The album is outstanding with a loose Blues/Rock vibe and deeply soulful, an absolute classic. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend a listen! Unfortunately the band disintegrated around 2013 after the untimely death of original guitarist Adam Greene in early 2012. Fortunately Lynne has returned to making music and is currently fronting Jackaman, her own band. She has recently completed recording her new album, ‘One Shot’, at the legendary FAME studios, Muscle Shoals in Alabama with Belgian producer and musician Jamie Evans. Some of the original Muscle Shoals session musicians guest on the album, including organ and piano player Spooner Oldham, keyboard player Clayton Ivey, bassist Bob Wray and guitarist Will McFarlane.
Lynne started singing professionally at around fourteen years old and during her career she has worked with bands such as The Answer on ‘Nowhere Freeway’, guested on stage with Thunder, Ginger Baker and Glenn Hughes. Ronnie Wood has also guested with Saint Jude on several occasions. Saint Jude guitarist Adam Greene was also chosen by Ronnie Wood to play in his solo band at his prestigious gig at the Ambassadors Theatre London on October 2010.
Lynne released her first solo EP, ‘No Halo’, under the Jackaman name in June 2016. It features a guest appearance from The Quireboys’ guitarist, Guy Griffin. With a voice of liquid gold and sprinklings of grit and gravel, Lynne delivers a diamond sharp sultry sincere performance, showcasing an intense vocal range and breadth with buckets of emotional depth. Some obvious vocal influences include Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Ann Peebles and Nikki Lamborn.
This gig at the famous Half Moon pub in Putney was the new album showcase, where only tracks from the album are performed. Unfortunately no previous material from Saint Jude or the debut EP are played. I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs prior to the gig, so an all new audio experience for me. Having only heard about this show a few days before, I was surprised that tickets were still available, as last month’s concert at The Islington in Angel, North London had been sold out for some time. Unfortunately I couldn’t get tickets for that gig, but fortunately I was able to get them for this one!
There seemed to be a rather low attendance at this gig, maybe the fact that it was not widely advertised or that it was a Tuesday night in Putney! The fortunate few in attendance though were rewarded with a spectacular and memorable performance. Lynne’s new band, assembled to promote the ‘One Shot’ album, included Jamie Evans on guitar, Paul Stone on drums, Tom Williams on bass, Johnny O’Neill on saxophone and Nick Etwell on trumpet. The new songs are definitely more in the Funk/Soul/Rock vain than her previous work with Saint Jude, where the direction was much more Blues/groove Rock. To be honest I miss the grit and groove of her Saint Jude material. However, the new songs are strong and provide the perfect vehicle for Lynne’s highly intense and masterful vocal skills.
The set consisted of eleven songs, opening with ‘Nobody’s Fault (But Yours)’. A confident funky struttin' start with deeply soulful vocals that get the hairs at the back of the neck standing! The set flows nicely into 'Copycat', followed by 'I'll Allow You', then 'On Your Own Now', then onto the title track 'One Shot', with beautifully controlled vocal vibrato that crackled with raw intensity, enough to melt the strongest of hearts! 'Sooner Or Later', a more riff driven track rocks hard with powerfully tight musicianship from the band and captivating vocal delivery from Lynne. 'Beautiful Loss' is an arresting ballad written about fellow Saint Jude band member Adam Greene, who sadly passed away in 2012. Delivered from the heart with captivating and engaging emotion, every word has deeply felt meaning, simply stunningly beautiful.
For the next section of the set we got 'On My Own Stage', then 'Red House Down', and finally the snarling 'Supernasty' which was delivered with panache and attitude! The horn section adding that authentic Muscle Shoals soul vibe through out the set. Returning to the stage for the exquisite 'Nothing But My Records On' to complete the evening’s musical journey. Through out the set Lynne's vocals transcended time and space, soaring to the highest reaches of the vocal register with complete control, then dipping down low and gravely with a vibrant wailing intensity only really heard from the true legendary greats of Soul music. There is definitely magic in them vocal chords! A very special evening of high quality songs and an unforgettable musical experience. Overall a very impressive body of work from Jackaman. Lynne is definitely one the country's finest Soul/Rock singers and deserves all the success she can get.
Steven C. Gilbert (photos courtesy of Bruce Biege)