Jack Savoretti’s night at New Theatre Oxford, as part of his ‘Singing to Strangers’ tour, left quite an impression. Disarmingly intimate throughout, thanks to his wife being in the audience, the night was surprisingly revelatory.

As Jack now lives in Oxfordshire, he said he was happy to call it his home gig; something “he was very proud of”.

He said that after 36 years of life he had come to realise that “home is not a place, it’s a feeling”, and thanked us for making him feel “very much at home.”

Not only is his singing to die-for, he whistles as beautifully as a bird, the high sweet notes contrasting against the heavenly grit in his voice. An alluring performer, his passion and sincerity is clear, he pours himself into every track.

In a dramatic start, he wowed straight from the off with his hit song Candlelight, a single that in my opinion is perfect Bond film material.

‘There’s a lot of love songs being sung tonight,” he tells us “and most of them are me saying I’m sorry, or me saying I’m sorry, or me saying I’m sorry,“ we laugh. He says writing songs is what he does when he’s stuck in a corner, to write a song “and it seems to be working out actually!” he adds.

He is candid with us throughout, giving us an intriguing glimpse into his personal life, saying all his songs are written for different reasons, but one song resonated in particular.

And then he reveals that 10 years ago he got married. We are all momentarily silent. You can practically feel the wave of disappointment from the women in the crowd!

“That always gets a mixed reaction and that was the worst reaction I’ve ever heard,” he laughs. He then tells us that his wife is actually in the room; actress Jemma Powell. 

What follows is a surprising insight into that marriage, so that by the end there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. He begins by saying: “I don’t know how well this story is going to go”, that he’d shown her he was ‘an asshole 24 hours after saying I do’.”

He adds that his wife only got “better and better.” As the crowd emits an ‘Aww’ he interrupts us, by adding that two years ago she showed him her worse side, a side that he had never seen. He said he had mixed emotions, but that in a way it balanced things out, saying “I only added that part of the story tonight because she’s in the crowd.”

“I get to call this my home gig; and that’s something I’m very proud of”

The point of his story was that however much more it made him love her, she didn’t like him seeing her vulnerability. “So, what do I do when I’m stuck in a corner? I write a song about it.” The song in question is What More Can I Do?”

Our hearts melted.

In between us dancing and clapping along, he gives more of himself away, as all the best singers do.

He talks about how lucky he is doing what he does, travelling and performing, visiting the parts of the world his grandparents were from – Germany, Poland, Italy, across England and how proud he is of his mixed heritage.

What he says next earns him loud whoops and applause, because he lists the band’s nationalities: Brazilian, Spanish, Danish, Scottish, English and how they are proud too, that there is so much more to us than the language we speak, the football teams we support, where we are born.

“So, for anybody out there who feels the same way this song is for you; and for anybody out there who doesn’t feel the same way,” he says with a hint of laughter in his voice “this song is for you too.” He sings us Tie Me Down.

At the end of the night he warmly states that he feels he’s leaving Oxford with a room filled with friends not strangers.

I hope we’ll be seeing much more of him.

NAOMI LANIGHAN

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