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Jamie Cullum, Jazz a Juan
Graham Clark, Features Writer
With Jamie Cullum two nights are never the same as he seems not to have a setlist so each performance is always going to be different.

The first time I saw Jamie was in 2003 at the Leadmill in Sheffield and Amy Winehouse was the support act. 14 years on and Jamie is now able to headline Europe's Jazz Festivals from Sweden to Spain.

As well as being a strong live performer he is also a music fan, not only in the jazz sphere as witnessed on his Radio 2 show, but also in a broader sense too. His covers range from Rihanna to Radiohead to Ed Sheeran.

He still plays his version of the Maria Grover track, 'What A Difference A Day Makes', introducing the song as "probably the first song you heard me sing".

'The Wind Cries Mary' sounds brilliant in the beautiful setting of the Juan Jazz Festival.

His version of Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' is reinvented as a soulful jazz track with some subtle piano chords in the chorus, the song leading into the Roy Ayers track, 'Everybody Loves the Sunshine'.

As energetic as ever it is not long before he is standing on the top of his grand piano and leaps off it like his life depended upon it. He clearly enjoys the south of France. "I'd come back every year if they would invite me" he informed me last time he was in this part of the world.

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His standard walkabout through the audience is always a pleasurable part of his gigs and tonight is no exception. His tight band always keeping up with his set.

"I wrote this track when I was 21, I'm 40 next year but you all look as young as ever" he jokes, before singing his own composition, 'All At Sea'.

After more than 90 minutes on stage he looked just as over-joyed as the audience. His enthusiasm is infectious as ever and it had been another excellent gig from one of the UK's most compelling performers.

Jamie Cullum, Jazz a Juan, 30th July 2017, 17:49 PM