Review: My Morning Jacket at Kentish Town Forum

Review: My Morning Jacket at Kentish Town Forum

Words: Tom Williams. Image: Austin Nelson.

Note-perfect performance from Jim James and band

There will be bigotry,” sings My Morning Jacket’s Jim James “And there will be open minds”. He’s not wrong, and even the crowd for tonight’s show demonstrates as much; nine tenths of those at Kentish Town Forum are among the most zealous gig-goers I’ve seen and greet every song with near-rapture, but sadly there are a few braying dullards who insist on talking loudly through the quiet, acoustic numbers.

It’s impossible to sour the mood though, because despite the odd insufficiently respectful punter, a weird clapping noise accompanying the kick drum coming through the PA and the keys being slightly too low in the mix, this is a triumphant, note-perfect performance from MMJ. There’s none of the egocentric self-indulgence that sometimes creeps into the tours of established artists who are bored of their hits. With the possible exception of ‘I’m Amazed’, MMJ play every song a casual fan would be likely to want. Opening with the hymnal ‘Gideon’ then going straight into 2011 single ‘Holdin on to Black Metal’, closing with ‘Off the Record’ (one of the few songs by rock bands other than The Clash that manages to do reggae without sounding like 10CC) and ‘One Big Holiday’. 

They’ve been at it for 25 years now, but even in late May the ability of James and his angelic voice to capture the solemn warmth of a good Christmas carol endures. Here’s to another 25. 


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