Three Links in Deep Ellum has a cozy, eclectic atmosphere that warmed up the crowd for a welcome reception to Australian native, Vera Blue. Her long red locks, modest and elegant demeanor, and warbling but always on pitch voice is comparable to Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine. They differ in that Vera would sing sweetly to her guitar and then slam on an electronic sound pad to mix up the beat. The effect was a contrast of her honey toned voice with hard hitting electronic rhythms and drops that came together in a great union.
When Jacob Banks came out on the stage he got the show rolling with his gravelly, soulful voice. With his deep from the gut tone I believe he improved throughout the night the more his throat warmed up, though don’t get me wrong, you could feel the emotion and love from the get go. The style of Jacob Banks music almost innately causes you to dance in a slow grind, particularly during a new song he unveiled “Be Good to Me.” It had a deep guitar melody with a rhythmic, soulful chorus that reflexively makes you dance.
A few of his songs had a reggae or African vibe to it that may stem from his childhood in Nigeria and roots in general. One song he put his own twist to was a cover of “Stay Woke” with more of a deep, soulful, calmer tone than the original. Most of the time he sang away with little chitter chatter, but paused at one point to tell the crowd a joke about batman skipping church (Christian Bale) before continuing straight into an unrelated song. He seemed like a pretty to the point kind of guy because he also explained how he was gonna skip all the leaving the stage and then “surprisingly” come back for an encore and just said “this is my last song, for real” and ended it with that and his hit, “Chainsmoking.”
Photographs by Logan Albritton