Late Night Phantasmagoria with Jack Lukeman
Wickedness and wonder in an entertaining evening
This article is from 2015.
While Jack Lukeman may have multi-platinum selling records to his name, only a measly crowd of 50 (at a push) turned up to the Irish crooner’s opening night at this year’s Fringe. However, crowds or none, Lukeman dressed and performed to impress. Taking to the stage in a Mad Hatter meets Robin Hood-style get-up, he launched into 45 minutes of songs of self-proclaimed ‘wickedness and wonder’. With matt-black acoustic in hand and twin pheasant feathers stuck firmly in his cap, Lukeman conducted the stage and audience with the tenacity of a well-seasoned professional, his powerful vocal range filling the almost-empty space with suave ease.
Where Lukeman excels is in his ability to fit his own often generic lyrics into classic blues and folk styles and make them sound at home. Several of his tracks tonight are straight out of the blues rock canon, each brilliantly embellished by a flawless backing band. His finest moments come when the music is at its most simple and the themes at their most whimsical. Ironic love letter to capitalism ‘It's Money that I love’ (Randy Newman's 1979 hit) and the hilarious ‘Sky News Blues’ succeed through their tongue-in-cheek wit, yet the saccharine lyrical genericism of the likes of ‘In Germany Before the War’ (another Newman composition) mars what is otherwise a hugely entertaining set, with its Eurovision-esque cheese and Disney musical sentiments.
The Famous Spiegeltent, 0844 693 3008, until 31 Aug (not 23, 30), 11pm, £15 (£13).