Jacob Banks

Music, Rap, hip hop and R&B
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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This soulful pop/R&B singer-songwriter is starting to become a big deal, with plenty of heart-tugging tunes up his sleeve and support slots with various UK urban superstars planned. Catch him while you can.

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Event phone: 020 7354 9993
Event website: http://www.xoyo.co.uk
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LiveReviews|1
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It didn’t take long for Jacob Banks’s warm voice to thaw the souls and hearts of the crowd taking refuge from the bitter January cold in East London’s sold out XOYO venue. Six foot four Jacob Banks swaggered onto the stage dressed in a slim fit tuxedo and fedora hat, beginning his set with ‘Worthy’; the opening track to his debut EP ‘The Monologue’ released this time last year. Standing silhouetted in the smoke, illuminated by three blue spotlights, Jacob repeated the lyric ‘I feel so worthy’ as the song faded to black. Had those four words been uttered by somebody with less talent you would be surprised at this lack of humility. But Banks can back it up. He is worthy of praise. Worthy of his recently signed record deal. Worthy of his tip as one to watch in 2014. Jacob Banks is a new generation soul singer that embodies the rich heritage of Atlantic Records, cut from the same cloth as Donny Hathaway or Otis Redding and worthy of the comparison. “I’m Jacob Banks, and I sing songs” he says humbly introducing himself before the second song ‘Kids on the corner’. It’s autobiographical in that ‘kids on the corner..that used to be me’. A year after an open-mic night in the same venue Jacob is filling it with 500 fans, amongst them Reggie Yates, Shakka, Mikill Pane and Jameela Jamil. Jacob’s set changes gears and draws emotions from your core. He fills the low-ceiling, warehouse-looking basement with a reggae vibe, like Bob Marley did the Rainbow Theatre in ’77, with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘My Love Is Your Love’. Then slows things down with heartfelt ballad ‘Hostage’, Chase & Status ‘Alive’ (on which he features) set to an acoustic version of Thugz Mansion, and the divine and achingly beautiful prayer ‘Heaven Knows Your Name’ who Banks dedicates to his lost best friend. Many singers are described as soulful, but in this portion of his performance, eyes closed, Jacob is baring his heart on stage. He is soul full. Upping the tempo, ‘Walk Away’ gets mash-up treatment. The crowd instantly recognises the dun dun dun da da of ‘Never too much’ by Luther Vandross and vibe along before Banks replaces his lyrics with those of ‘Take back the night’ by Justin Timberlake. Since being signed to Atlantic, Jacob Banks has been writing for his debut studio album. New songs ‘I was made for you’ and ‘Move with you’ give us a taste of what’s to come in 2014, alongside the more familiar tracks from ‘The Monologue’ EP including ‘Something Beautiful’. The spotlights dim and Banks bows out. Coming back for an encore the band starts up the African inspired beat of ‘Doing OK’, Jacob’s duet with fellow Renowned team member Wretch 32 taken from forthcoming album ‘Growing Over Life’. Jacob drops an ‘Ah yea’ on the mic which cues the Tottenham MC to cause a shockwave when he surprises everyone by taking the stage. The steel girders barely keep the roof bolted on. The final number ‘Rainy Day’ transforms the industrial venue into church, with the audience clapping and chanting along before turning out into a literal rainy day in East London’s Old Street. Armet Ertegun, the legendary founder of Atlantic Records, would be proud of the gifted talent that is Jacob Banks, who joins the current roster at the label and continues it’s great reputation for discovering true soul.