Interview: Singer Jack Savoretti comes of age

Jack Savoretti.
Jack Savoretti.

By Graham Chalmers

Jack Savoretti’s thoughts may be on the bigger venues on his forthcoming tour, but his heart is still in the coffee houses where he first made his name.

“There’s a part of the show where it’s just me and my acoustic guitar. I don’t feel like I’ve left those days behind. I don’t miss the tough times, though.”

The Anglo-Italian-American singer-songwriter’s forthcoming tour includes Leeds’ famous indie venue the Brudenell Social Club on Sunday, February 15, a venue he knows well, describing it as “a bit different but a very cool place.”

But it’s easy to tell which date means the most to this well-travelled 31-year-old who was once, inaccurately, hailed as the ‘new Paolo Nutini’.

“I’m looking forward to the Shepherd’s Bush show. I used to work round the corner from the Empire, making falafel. It feels like a victory.”

Pride of place in the setlist will go to songs from Jack’s new album, Written in Scars, released next Monday on major label BMG Chrysalis.

Featuring co-writes with Jake Bugg and Adele’s musical director, it feels like there’s a lot riding on it.

“It’s my favourite one I’ve done, though the last one you do is always the closest to home.”

Over the years since he first stood out of the crowd within the music business as a promising 20-year-old, Jack’s path has crossed with everyone from Sienna Miller to Bruce Springsteen.

I ask him if he ever feels pushed into striving for success. “It depends on your definition of success. In the past I had the passion but not the know-how of how things work. The music industry is small and incestuous. It’s the same folk you run into. These people are friends and you end up working with them.”

As the vaguely political lyrics of the new album’s title track, inspired by the Arab Spring originally, show, Jack may have the charm and talent of the likes of James Morrison and, yes, Paolo, but he’s an intelligent serious musician, too.

“When no expects anything of you, you can make the music you want to. In my misfortune, I’m lucky. The struggle has kept me grounded.”