Music review: Jim White at St Bonaventure's; 9/10 by Ketih Clark
IN front of a capacity crowd, Florida-born Jim White probably talked as much as he sang. Much of the performance by this singer, songwriter, author, documentary film- maker, philosopher and story-teller consisted of lengthy anecdotes drawn from the ups and downs of his highly colourful life.
For instance after singing the achingly moving My Brother's Keeper, about a school friend who died of a broken heart, he went on to tell a lengthy story of his days as a New York cab driver, his friend's reaction to having his eight-track tape player stolen and some unusual suggestions on how to deter criminals. He then told us how he was cured of clinical depression by collecting unusual names in a newspaper's court reports which led to the wonderfully-named song Irrational Names Sometimes Lead to Irrational Crimes.
His story about driving across America to do a support spot lasted over half an hour. In lesser hands music fans might have found this frustrating but White's stories completely held your attention as he took you through a range of emotions from heart-rending to laugh-out-loud humour.
In all there were only 14 songs in a set that lasted around two hours and so perfect were they, with beautiful melodies, lyrics that were sensitive, thoughtful and sometimes quite hard-punching and sung in White's mellow, almost spoken style, that you could of course have wished there was time for more.
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This was the last night of Jim White's UK tour and he ended it by selling off his guitar, an amplifier and his clothes.
A Jim White gig is predictably unpredictable but this was a real gem.