Gladstone Minzie: Mr Jacob Banks

There’s a chap who I need to tell you about. He’s a Brummie who goes by the name of Mr Jacob Banks. Pound for pound in my humble opinion he’s the finest singer the UK has ever produced. I did think he was an American due to his music being featured on that hit Netflix’s show ‘Power’ of which I’m a big fan of.
By Gladstone Minzie | Apr 2018


Mr Jacob Banks

Live @ Gorilla, Manchester March 26 2018.

I only came across him about 12 months ago on the Internet by complete accident but I have been following his social media feeds ever since.  However on purchasing his downloaded music (3 EP’s), I was shocked to see that his first EP came out in 2013. After hitting my head with a book I ask myself why haven’t I heard of him before?

I saw Mr Banks live for the first time last December at the now demolished music venue Sound Control (on New Wakefield St). It was a small venue but it was a sold out gig however considering that fact the audience that night were initially  very subdued so I assumed most people didn’t really know who he was. However he did wow the audience that night and made a lot of new fans with his raw, gritty vocals and powerful music. I can remember going went home with a warm fuzzy glow inside me as I knew I had heard someone very special.

He’s a special kind of singer, one who comes along once every 30 years or more, and I would appear that the American’s seem to have taken a special liking to him, so we may not get him back.

Fast forward to March 2018 and he’s got another sold out gig at local music venue Gorilla, which is a much bigger venue than sound Control. I am stood at the back as I left my camera at home as I just wanted to hear the man sing.  The place is rammed and remarkably it’s full of couples (more on that later). There’s definitely a buzz in the air and did all those people at the Sound Control gig really spread the word that much, if so well done people. 

The support that night was a cheeky chappie from Congleton called Sean French (I think), who plays electric guitar and sings, who also  reminds me of Ray Lemontagne except he talks a hell of a lot more and is from Congleton. At one point he actually got the crowd to sing along with him, which they did enthusiastically.

OK it’s 9pm and on come two of the band the drummer and the electric guitar player who wouldn’t look out of place in a 70’s funk rock band. On comes Jacob Banks to wild applause, as this is what the crowd and the couples have been waiting for as well me.

He goes straight into the song ‘Chain smoking’ song from his last  EP 'The Boy Who Cried Freedom' which gets the crowd into a the right frame of mind for an evening of powerful soul music. Yes I said ‘Soul music’ so that makes him a ‘Soul singer’ yes a real one as he ain’t no blue eyed warbling TV competition poppete who thinks caterwauling through Stevie Wonder’s ‘ Happy Birthday’ qualifies them as a ‘Soul singer’ (no, it sure as hell doesn’t).

Mr Jacob Banks has a voice that is raw and gravely yet he can sing with such tenderness it will make your eyes water. He makes and sings music, which will move your very soul, whilst his music hits you right between the ears and draws you into his musical world. At the gig he sangs unaccompanied and yes you could hear a pin drop in the place as he can held that crowded rooms attention with every note. He did the same at the Sound Control gig and he’s doing the same here tonight and this is mesmerising stuff.

Looking around me I can see couples all snuggled up with each other as Jacob captivates them and me with his voice. Unfortunately for me I was stood in between two couples who both started snogging each other part way through one of his new songs called ‘Quality’. I just looked straight ahead but I could still see them both on either side of me, get a room next time but I guess that’s the power of his voice! When the you have the guys and the girls loving your music then you  are destined for big things.

Everyone left that gig very happy indeed and I look forward to seeing him again in Manchester and I reckon he’ll need a bigger venue.

Jacob Banks hails from Birmingham in the UK not Birmingham Alabama as he’s not America and he’s going to make a lot of new fans in 2018, so don’t forget the name as the man can sing and then some!

Jacob Banks has 3 EPs of great music available for download on the main music download sites, I suggest you check them out.

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