The artist formerly known as Jilted John has been happily forging ahead with the most underwhelming pop career in musical history, armed with only a Yamaha PSS portable keyboard and the Sun Tzu level of Machiavellian management provided by next door neighbour and agent Ken Worthington. John’s simple Northern charm and ability to tap into the zeitgeist of popular culture has kept his canon of classic songs relevant and essential listening for the most discerning music lovers of a certain age. Our particular favourite is the almost scarily uptempo and riotous ‘Austin Ambassador Y Reg’, a car that John owned, revered and ultimately lost thanks to the vagaries of 1980’s British engineering. Those possessed of a more sedate disposition should perhaps steer clear of the aural violence of ‘Y Reg’ and take in John’s poignant ballads such as, ‘I Can’t Go Back to Savoury Now’ which explores the pain of having already started your pudding when more Shepherd’s Pie becomes available, or Eurovision hopeful ‘Pigeons in Flight’. We love John Shuttleworth. His cheery Sheffield stoicism has seen man and keyboard pursue a musical dream that for many would have become a nightmare. Never less than acutely polite and blessed with an ocean sized swell of optimism he is an absolute joy live. It’s nice up North. Ooff indeed.

Sun 12 Feb 7.30pm at Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ £20 thsh

Sun 12 Feb
Giles Logan
Published on:
Mon 9 Jan 2017