MOISTURISER and botox – that’s how to stay looking 12 years old,” Jamie Cullum confided to the audience as he romped through an action-packed set at the Philharmonic Hall.
Arriving on stage armed withŠa mini mega-phone in hisŠ toy box of unlikelyŠ percussionŠ instruments andŠ new material inspired by Disney’s The Jungle Book, Cullum’s impish delight for music making was infectious from the outset.
Betraying no desire to grow up he started proceedings with a clever cover of Rihanna’s hit Don’t Stop the Music before unleashing the jungle drums and his own inner cheeky monkey on the Latin crowd pleaser You and Me Are Gone.
The latter show-cased the 30-year-old’s talent as a pianist, while also delivering a dazzling trumpet solo byŠRory Simmons.
Cullum explained Šthe songŠ had started as a low and jazzy tale of a bitter break up, but took on a different life when he discovered they were in the LA studio where the Jungle Book soundtrack was recorded.
Pouncing on the drum kit, leaping from the piano mid song – but not missing a beat,Š playing the odd note with his feet, Šfalling from his piano stool with the sheer effort of it all – Cullum proceeded to wow the crowd with hitsŠI’m All Over It Now and Twenty Something.Š
This was the showman the crowd was expecting, the man in love with music Šbelting out jazz standards, so to be left tingling when he turned the tempo right down was a surprise.
If I Ruled the World, Catch the Sun and his soulful encore of Gran Torino packed a real, raw emotional punch and served to remind that Cullum is an accomplished musician and writer.
A duet with support act Eliza Dolittle of Close to You held the audience spellbound.
To say Cullum can’t sit still is a statement of fact that can be applied not just to his kinetic and commanding stage presence, but to his genre bending, blending disregard for the rules of music and performance
As the spectacle of the 30-year-old standing on a seat in the stalls, with the band decamped into the aisle, to perform a stripped back and brooding take on Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River went to prove.