Lynne Jackaman with her band, Jackaman, play to a sell-out London crowd ahead of the release of her much-awaited debut album.

With the promise of new material from her forthcoming Lynne Jackaman album, social media had been buzzing with anticipation and excitement ahead her Borderline gig with her full band known simply as Jackaman. This show promised to be even more sensational than the last two, which had seen the release of her EP, No Halo.

As the powerful, soulful rock voice fronting the highly acclaimed rock band, Saint Jude, this was to be Lynne’s sixth solo gig to date, each venue bigger than the last as each date was sold-out. Along with Lynne’s loyal fan base from her days with Saint Jude, her recent soul and funk-influenced brand of rock, drawing on her early musical influences and love of soul and Tamla Motown, is rapidly attracting new fans, many who are not even aware of her days with Saint Jude.

With a fast-selling debut EP, No Halo released at the end of 2015 and two of its singles, “Honesty” and “Wasted,” featured on Planet Rock Radio’s playlist, interest in Ms. Jackaman’s new musical direction has been growing fast.

As soon as the doors open, the venue fills up quickly and is heaving by the time Peter Shoulder opens the sold-out show. The talented frontman of The Union thrills an appreciative crowd with a stripped-bare acoustic solo set based on his album, Feathers and Rain. It is just him, his guitar, his wonderful bluesy songs, and his expressive, passionate voice.

Peter delivers a more mellow performance that one might have expected from his appearances with The Union. The warm and receptive crowd, many wearing Pete Shoulder t-shirts, evidence of his strong following here.

Lynne and her band enter the stage to rapturous applause and cheers. Lynne’s fans certainly know how to show their support for this much-loved vocalist. The men clearly delight in seeing Lynne in her trademark short, but classy, figure-hugging black and white lace number, exposing her famed, shapely limbs; the ladies are taken by her glamour.

Tonight, her band lineup includes members from the EP, her talented co-songwriter, Guy Griffin (The Quireboys) on guitar, Nick Mailing (The Quireboys) on bass, and John O’Neill on saxophone. Joining them onstage is Rueben Humphries on drums and Matt Guest on keyboards. It is Lynne’s intention to have an interchangeable lineup to keep it fresh.

Lynne, glowing and appearing genuinely touched by the enthusiastic reception, chats to her fans as if surrounded by old friends. The band kicks off with a new song, “Copycat,” destined for her forthcoming debut album, which immediately gets the crowd moving and grooving to the sultry soul-infused beat. With the first note of Lynne’s voice, the crowd are immediately captivated by its raw power and effortless range.

To cheers and whistles from the crowd, Lynne introduces the next song as her current single “Wasted” from the No Halo EP and already into its third week on the Planet Rock Radio playlist. The band launches into the funky intro and, as soon as Lynne’s soulful voice comes in, the crowd sways to the groovy beat and classic riffs, her loyal fans, already knowing the lyrics, singing along too. Given the song’s passion, soul, and emotional intensity, it is a track could only be written from personal experience, an anthem of feminine empowerment and finger-wagging defiance in the spirit of Gloria Gaynor’s, “I Will Survive.”

Two new songs follow; “I’ll Allow You,” a funky number remarkably contrasted with some great psychedelic guitar riffs and powerhouse vocals, and “Nobody’s Fault (But Yours)” with its magnificent sax intro, catchy, up-tempo melody, and sexy, sultry vocals. It is lyrics like these, the no-nonsense, girl power sentiments, that endear Lynne to the ladies in girly togetherness despite our envy of her gorgeous looks and supreme talent. This attitude is confirmed by Lynne at the end of the song by her remark, “That told him!”

A loud cheer greets Lynne’s announcement of another song to follow from her EP, “Honesty (Can Be So Cruel),” an intense and passionate, goosebump-provoking delivery, building in intensity and showcasing Lynne’s exceptional vocal control and ability to hold notes with such ease.

A real change of pace comes next with another new song, “Sooner or Later,” a more rocking, riff-driven track in the vein of Saint Jude, along with a hint of the Stones. Guy Griffin’s input is evident in the catchy guitar riffs and refrain, which gets the crowd dancing and moving.

There is so much intimacy at the show as Lynne calls out to fans by their names and thanks them for travelling from as far as Ireland and even L.A. to be at the gig. It feels as if we are all at a friend’s evening soirée.

With the crowd clearly enjoying the pace of the last song. The band plays the title track to the EP, “No Halo,” at a faster tempo than it is recorded on the EP. Lynne follows, powering soulfully into another new song, “Super Nasty.” It is a bluesy song with soulful sax; a magical infusion of soul and rock with a dash of funk.

Keeping the energy high, Lynne follows with another lively song. It is her first track released; the groovy “You Can’t Take Back,” instantly recognized by the crowd from its first funky notes. With its guitar hook and sax riffs, this song also showcases the varied timbres, tones, and great versatility of Lynne’s vocals.

The whoops of delight at the end of this song are met with boos as Lynne announces the last song of her set, but promises it’ll be a long one.

“Bringing It Home (To You)” is one of her favourite songs from the new album. She tells her fans that it “completely goes somewhere else and you’ll hear it at the end.” As soon as the intro starts, the crowd is unable to stand still to the strong, funky groove. The music builds to an intoxicating frenzy with Lynne’s powerhouse of voice; she holds the high notes with ease. The song breaks into a magical and mesmerising finale of pure, heavenly sound.

We are all taken with Lynne to this “somewhere else” place, leaving us in awe and stunned silence. The only way to describe Lynne’s vocals and the fascination of the crowd is to think about the vocal range of the Diva operatist from The Fifth Element and you might understand. When Lynne ends a set, she certainly knows how to do it in style. She leaves the crowd squealing with delight and begging for more as she and her band exit the stage.

True to her habit of teasing her fans, Lynne takes her time to return for an encore. When she does, the venue bursts into a loud cheer, only for her to joke that she’s only come back to collect her drink. Lynne silences the laughter and jeers from the fans, saying “This is the polite way… could everyone please be quiet! This is my way… can you shut the fuck up please!”

She changes the mood on to a more serious note as she describes the crazy time she’s experienced recently with the deaths of several much-beloved musicians; Lemmy, David Bowie, and Dale “Buffin” Griffin of Mott The Hoople.

To a big cheer from the crowd, Lynne announces the next song as one she wrote about a close musician friend she has lost and dedicates it to all the musicians no longer with us. The song is the haunting, deeply personal and heartfelt, “Beautiful Loss,” written as a tribute to her co-writer and guitarist in Saint Jude, Adam Green. To the delight of the fans, as Lynne nears the end of the song, she seamlessly merges it with a couple of lines from Bowie’s, “Life On Mars.”

The up-tempo “Future Ex” proves an excellent choice for the finale of the exciting and uplifting evening. Its catchy refrain is perfect for a crowd sing-along, which all finish on a massive high.

Lynne Jackaman may be a true diva, but she is always appreciative of the role her fans play in her career. No matter how many queue up to meet her after the show, to have her sign souvenirs, to chat ,or to have a selfie taken with her, she is always willing and tireless; tonight is no exception.

She is backed by an incredible, tight band of top musicians with funky bass lines, killer guitar riffs, and superb sax playing. Tonight, she proves herself to be one of the UKs top rock and soul singers. There is little doubt that she has the talent as a singer/songwriter to take her to the top of her career, and to become an artist of international acclaim.

With the buzz created by her eagerly awaited forthcoming debut album and excitement about news of a national tour, it is evident that Ms Jackaman is becoming very hot property.

Our NRR photographer, Eric Duvet, was behind the lens for the night.

Jackaman
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Peter Shoulder
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The Borderline
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