by Danny Gandolfi, Music-News.com
Joe Jackson emerged in the late 70’s, along with Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and Graham Parker as British singer songwriters who had the talent, the tenacity and gall to sing about real life with wonderful lyrics and tuneful songs that still stand up gloriously today.
A sold out crowd in Milan welcomed him back in the beautiful Teatro Dal Verme as he stepped out alone on the impressively big stage. Tall and distinguished in a dark blue suit he played five songs solo, gently feeling out the crowd and acoustics including a ‘New Orleans’ style version of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi.
Longtime bass player Graham Maby, and New York musicians Doug Yowell (drums) and the splendid Teddy Kumpell (guitar) then joined JJ and things really kicked off. Various songs were played from the latest JJ album Fast Forward and tracks like Poor Thing and Kings Of The City are really good additions to the excellent body of work JJ has built up in his career.
The band were having fun onstage, seemingly surprised at the crowd’s attentiveness and enthusiasm and even if there were slight problems with the mix (snare drum mainly being too loud), the quality of the overall sound was top notch, especially the groovy funky guitar licks and delicate sound effects TK brought to the songs.
Highlights were the irresistible You Can’t Get What You Want, a snappy One More Time and the magnificent A Slow Song. JJ was rather exhausted at the end but evidently elated that a “bunch of tarts” should still enthuse such rapturous applause and joy.
The set list:
- Joe Jackson solo
- It's Different For Girls (from I'm the Man, 1979)
- Home Town (from Big World, 1986)
- Take It Like a Man (from Volume 4, 2003)
- Be My Number Two (from Body and Soul, 1984)
- Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell cover)
- Fast Forward (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Joe Jackson & Graham Maby
- Is She Really Going Out With Him (from Look Sharp!, 1979)
- Joe Jackson & Band
- Real Men (from Night and Day, 1982)
- You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want) (from Body and Soul, 1984)
- A Little Smile (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Kings of the City (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Poor Thing (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Another World (from Night and Day, 1982)
- The Blue Time (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (David Bowie cover)
- Sunday Papers (from Look Sharp!, 1979)
- Keep On Dreaming (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Ode to Joy (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- Steppin' Out (from Night and Day, 1982)
- See No Evil (from Fast Forward, 2015)
- One More Time (from Look Sharp!, 1979)
- A Slow Song (from Night and Day, 1982)