Gig review: Jack White

Jack White welcomes a fresh challenge. Picture: Getty
Jack White welcomes a fresh challenge. Picture: Getty
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AS HIS prolific record shows, Jack White welcomes a fresh challenge. Already a veteran of three successful bands, he has formed two more to tour his debut solo album Blunderbuss – one all male and one all female ensemble – both drilled in his back catalogue and ready to rock a spontaneous set at a few hours’ notice.

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Rating: * * * *

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First up on this outing were the girls, aka The Peacocks, all clad in diaphanous pale blue dresses and clustered in a semi-circle round their leader like members of a particularly striking cult. Fiddle and pedal steel coloured even the punkiest songs with a country hue and transformed The White Stripes’ Hotel Yorba into a regular hoedown. But there was devilish relish in their rendition of Missing Pieces and a sexy spark to White’s duet with backing singer Ruby Amanfu on Love Interruption.

There were nods to White’s other bands with storming takes on The Raconteurs’ Steady As She Goes and The Dead Weather’s dramatic Cut Like A Buffalo, featuring some epic organ playing from Brooke Waggoner, before the second set and the emergence of the boys in a thrilling two-for-one deal.

The Buzzards were all garagey brawn as they fired into The Hardest Button To Button but were equally convincing as a raucous bar band, delivering a shot of delicious mandolin, or as an amped-up heavy blues rock juggernaut on Seven Nation Army.

The charismatic White, meanwhile, was in his element fronting both these outfits, who joined forces for a valedictory Goodnight Irene.

Support act Willy Moon, signed to White’s Third Man Records, took a leaf from his paymaster’s book with his testifying energy and fuzzed-up blues covers, including Little Willie John’s I’m Shakin’, but added somewhat gimmicky samples and scratching to the otherwise tight mix.