Shelly Theatre, Bournemouth

Jac Grace

For Jack Grace the journey to just get to the release of his third EP “Polar” has been fraught with plenty of major obstacles, and to be here in the Shelly Theatre in Boscombe for the release party must be something of a huge relief. After playing here last year as part of the Oxjam Takeover, Jack always had an eye on returning here as the acoustics of this high ceiling theatre are just magical and the place has so much atmosphere. The vast majority of the tickets for this event were sold in advance thanks to a great bit of promotion, with an offer of the new EP in advance of release with a ticket purchase.

Tonight’s support act Izzie Yardley is a singer/songwriter from London who has made quite a name for herself with extensive gigs across the capital. As the house lights dim and she arrives on stage there is an eerie respectable hush from the audience in anticipation of her first number. With just an acoustic guitar and a microphone on a dark backlit stage, the young lady delicately plucks at the strings while her beautiful soulful voice radiates around this old hall. We are treated to tunes like “I Don’t Know” which features a neat impression of a trumpet solo and a charming version of “Angel From Montgomery”, a song which Izzie was inspired to play after seeing Bonnie Raitt in concert a few weeks back. The set ends with a beautiful original number called “Where Are You Now” a tune that has lots of deep personal meaning and is sung right from the heart, with plenty of inspirational lyrics. The crowd seem to really enjoy all that Izzie had to offer and they give plenty of positive applause as she leaves the stage.

Izzie Yardley
Izzie Yardley 1

After a short break, it is time for Jack and his band to take to the stage. With a combination of the smoke machine and some great work with the lighting, the stage creates an impressive backdrop as the band starts. The first two numbers ease the audience in gently with some nice acoustic arrangements. Next, “Remember Me” is powerful and moving with Jack putting his absolute soul in delivering his near perfect vocal. The band seem to really be in synch with every tune that is played and it is clear that many hours have been spent in the rehearsal room getting things just right. Izzie Yardley returns to the stage with “Lunas” singer Emma Ridgers and they give some well-balanced backing vocals to “Tremble And Pause”. The new tunes from the EP are some of the best to come from this current outfit, with the songs having a modern progressive feel to them. The recording features a host of different styles where the band’s continued experimental pursuit has provided fruitful with tunes like the epic “Blindside” and “As I Lie” thrilling the crowd. We are also treated to a rare cover in the form of Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years”.

Jack Grace
Jack Grace 123456

The tunes in these surroundings are really something to savour; with the high ceilings letting the sound beautifully carry over the audience, you are able to fully embrace the sound and enjoy the music as it was intended to be heard. A great evening watching some impressive up and coming artists doing what they love, in a great underused local resource that should have lots more events like this.

Set List
Clocks (Acoustic)
Weeks Months Years (Acoustic)
Remember Me
Tremble and Pause
As you Lie
Still crazy after all these Years (Paul Simon Cover)
The Jammy One
Art or taking the Lot


Check out the Shelley Theatre here.

Words & Pictures by David Chinery (Chinners)

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