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Jack: Le Botanique, Brussels

Chris Roberts, Uncut, May 2002

THE BEAUTY of it, and also the pain, is that you never know quite what to expect from Jack's live shows. Loose-cannon bohemians, within 10 minutes here they've profoundly surprised their hushed and reverent, chin-stroking Belgian audience. Tantrums, technical hitches and even some self-heckling enliven the opening to their first set in two years. Another day at the office for Jack, like the spirit of Serge Gainsbourg fronting a cerebral Left Bank riot, it's as far from anodyne pop as the brain can conceive. Nerves shredded, corpuscles pumping, I'm proud to be British. After this heart-in-mouth opening, everything comes together. Jack regroup, and orchestrate a memorable occasion.

Total word count of piece: 443

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