Soho SoulTown returned to 100 Wardour Street on Tuesday showcasing the vocal talents of Jermain Jackman. Most notably remembered as the winner of BBC’s The Voice 2014 it was a chance to get up close and personal with the singer in intimate surroundings.
The spiral staircase leads you down into the space where between between 1964 - 1988 the legendary Marquee Club hosted such names as David Bowie, The Doors and The Rolling Stones. It's heartwarming to see the space still hosting talented artists in a rejuvenated locale unrecognisable from its previous incarnation.
'Midnight Train To Georgia' helped kick off the musical soiree in style and it was immediately evident that Jermain was not just turning up to pick up the pay check or avail himself of the fine dinning. Leading his ultra professional six-piece band through his favourite tunes of Soul and Motown the 22-year-old singer-songwriter strikes an imposing figure with a natural ability to engage the lucky few seated only yards away.
'Take You Out' by Luther Vandross saw Jermain encourage dinners to sing along while Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Stay Together' needed no such cajoling, Jermain himself moved to tears prompting a waiter to hand him a napkin. Heads bobbed and cocktails were raised in appreciation to the recently departed Queen Of Soul as Carol King's Natural Woman got the Jackman treatment, always heartfelt, elegant and compelling.
A delightful set menu, offering 2 courses for £22 or 3 courses for £25 makes the perfect accompaniment to the upbeat music. The menu is newly presided over by executive head chef Kim Woodward - previously the first female head chef at the Savoy Grill in its 126-year history - who has shaken up the offering presenting classic dishes with a modern, creative twist, to cater to every palate with gluten-free and vegan options. We can highly recommend both the Scottish salmon and succulent pork chop.
Simply Red's 'If You Don't Know Me by Now' and 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free' by Nina Simone were two second half highlights before 'Valarie', 'I Say a Little Prayer' and 'Ain't No Stoppin Us Now' had most dinners on their feet dancing with Jermain intermingling to the delight of a nearby table of ladies clearly taking advantage of the 'all you can drink' wine options.
Over and hour and a half of exemplary music from Jermain and his band and a menu to die for made for an exceptional nights entertainment. A relaxed party atmosphere awaits at Soho SoulTown Autumn series, which will take place every Tuesday with a different live act.
Check out the events calendar here