In London's well-established music scene, it's rare to feel you've truly come across an act before their time. But last night we witnessed one of those special, fleeting moments. Hidden in the low-lit downstairs bar of The Slaughtered Lamb, a man named Mr Jukes worked his magic.
Now we’d be lying to you to say he’s totally unknown. Mr Jukes is better known as Jack Steadman, former frontman to Bombay Bicycle Club. So he’s no stranger to the fame. But there’s definitely something different. In fact, there’s a whole lot different.
Introducing the night by spinning some of his favourite records that inspired the album, the soulful scene was set. Jack then proceeded to open one very special vinyl. This, of course, was a fresh pressing of his debut album God First.
Steadman has already confessed that the album is an experiment, of sorts. In his own words, “The whole album was me wanting to get my imagination on record.” The results are impressive, from hip-hop to jazz, this sample-filled record explores a range of musical sounds. Some tracks utilise Steadman's soft, emotive voice that we’re already used to, while others take us down brass-filled rabbit holes we didn't even know existed.
To top the evening off, we’re treated to a three-piece Mr Jukes jam session. Before Bombay, Steadman used to be a jazz bassist, and you can tell. As he leans back against the bar’s brick wall, we're guided seamlessly through a mix of tracks, from Mr Jukes originals to some jazz classics. The trio transition from the likes of Coltrane to Dilla and Steadman adds the type of fiery punch to his bass playing you often miss as it's left to play a backing role.
Mr Jukes’ debut album is out on July 14th but in the meantime, catch all his singles to date here and kick back to the playlist below.
Mr Jukes - Leap of Faith
Wayne Shorter - Footprints
Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage
Mr Jukes - Angels /Your Love
John Coltrane - Naima
J Dilla - The Look of Love
Mr Jukes - Grant Green
Mr Jukes - Improvisation