The Jacksons, Hammersmith Apollo

Purely joyous: The Jacksons perform at Hammersmith Apollo

Purely joyous: The Jacksons perform at Hammersmith Apollo Photo: Stephanie Paschal / Rex Features

04 Mar 2013

You might think there would be a ghost haunting this show, an inescapable absence at its centre, yet of all the Michael Jackson related tributes I have seen, the reunion of his brothers was by far the most purely joyous and entertaining.

It worked, in a way, because it wasn’t all about Michael. There were no excessively maudlin speeches, no hi-tech projections from beyond the grave, and none of the quasi-religious homages that make less obsessive fans queasy. There was just great music and dancing and a real spirit of fraternal togetherness, with Michael being celebrated as a part of this talented clan, as opposed to something completely other.

In truth, The Jacksons career never really recovered from the departure and phenomenal solo success of their most extravagantly talented member in the early Eighties. From 1984 on, all of their careers seemed to depend on his beneficence. A speculative comeback in 2009 was cut short by Michael’s death, and there have been various falling outs and disagreements, with indications that it took torturous negotiations to get four of the five back onstage (without youngest, Randy, who became a member at the tail end of their career). Yet there is no sense of conflict or compromise, apart, perhaps, from an unnecessary Jermaine solo section. This is a slick, fun, engaging, super well-drilled show in which the performers seem to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

read more via Telegraph

Jessie J: do it like a diva

Jessie J at the Hammersmith Apollo

Nov 2011

There is a what-is-she-wearing moment when the curtain lifts on Jessie J.

Or maybe that should be: “What is she not wearing?” Judiciously placed purple strips just about cover intimate parts on a flesh coloured body stocking. When sensitive singer-songwriter James Morrison arrives in scruffy jeans and black shirt to duet on their single Up, he apologies for his performance, claiming: “The outfit distracted me.” “Sorry, babe,” coos Jessica Cornish, who has spent much of the song bumping and grinding against a flustered Morrison, while coating his hoarse and hurting vocal with her trademark ultra-wailing. Perhaps Morrison should have taken her aside beforehand and explained that the song was actually a lament for his late alcoholic stepfather. It seems such a strange pairing, as if two different pop worlds have collided . When they recorded it, Morrison described her as a musical Ferrari, and asked her to drop from fifth gear to third. But she could have gone right down to first, and she’d have still run all over him and left him for roadkill.

I don’t think Jessie J really does “sensitive”. She very occasionally sings within herself, with a sweet, high warble that leads into the opening of a ballad, but within a few bars she invariably cranks it up to klaxon level, ululating like a banshee. She has a voice that could be adapted as a military weapon.

<<read more: review – Telegraph>>