Tuesday night in Berlin, Friedrichshain. A variety of people from all walks of life ventured out into the cold this week to hear Jay Brannan live at The PrivatClub. Before the American singer took to the stage though, local Berliner Dino Joubert opened first, playing a number of acoustic songs from his full length album, When A Horse Loves A Unicorn.
While some people in the crowd chose to not pay attention to Joubert’s performance, they missed out on a strong set that perfectly set the tone for what was to come.
Brannan’s voice was crystal clear, remaining pitch perfect throughout the night
As soon as Jay Brannan walked on stage, it was clear that we had a seasoned pro in our midst. Opening with an acoustic number from his latest EP, New York, New York, Brannan’s voice was crystal clear, remaining pitch perfect throughout the night, as he sang a range of songs from his extensive back catalogue.
Jay imbued his voice with a raw edge that conveyed the song’s genuine heartbreak
Early hits such as Soda Shop and Half-Boyfriend from the Unmastered EP sounded just as strong as more recent songs such as Imperfect Lover and the politically infused Goddamned, which has sadly become more relevant than ever. While Brannan played less covers than he has in the past, an acoustic version of Dolly Parton’s iconic anthem, Jolene, became a highlight of the night, as Jay imbued his voice with a raw edge that conveyed the song’s genuine heartbreak.
In fact, the strongest element of Brannan’s performance has always been the emotion he brings to every show and tonight was no different. The single Beautifully from the album Rob Me Blind roused the crowd to sing along, despite the melancholic tone of the lyrics, and the collections title track made for a stunning encore, which resonated long after the crowds had left Privatclub for the night.
It wouldn’t be a Jay Brannan concert without some humour
However, it wouldn’t be a Jay Brannan concert without some humour though, something which the singer/songwriter possesses in spades. In between songs, Brannan regularly shared anecdotes of his experiences travelling on the road, keeping the audience in fits of laughter while still remaining humble and thankful throughout. A particular highlight of the night occurred when Brannan performed a German song from a kids TV show. The theme tune went down with the crowd even better than Du hast den schönsten Arsch der Welt, the Deutsch track from Jay’s multi-lingual album, Around The World In 80 Days.
Brannan semi-joked that this last stop on the tour would be his final concert
Brannan semi-joked that this last stop on the tour would be his final concert, but just in case he was being serious, make sure you sign up to the Jay Brannan mailing list and show him as much love as the fans who threw Kinder hippos up on stage during the show!
To find out more about Dino Jourbet, check out the official Dino Jourbet web site
Review by David Opie
Photo by Marc-Roberts, used under CC2 Licence