God First, Mr Juke’s 2017 debut, is a pot of golden-aged pop and honeyed soul swirled with R&B flavours. More fundamentally, it’s a host of feel-good beats that belong to the swaying hips of a festival audience. The sun-drenched fields of Glynde’s Love Supreme Festival made for a perfect pairing of ‘vibes’ and ‘feels’. Translation: a blissed soundtrack to the sunshine.
Jukes (real name Jack Steadman, of Bombay Bicycle Club heritage) took a diplomatic role: centre stage as band leader but infrequently centre of attention. Whilst he bopped and grooved to his own funky bass line, he looked to his nine-piece band to take turns with the lead. Familiar festival faces made for an all-star line-up, including Joe Armond-Jones of Ezra Collective with persistently outrageous keyboards and Binker Golding’s muscular sax lines of funk-punching accuracy.
A guest vocal performance so early in the set from Lalah Hathaway (no multi-phonics on this occasion) on From Golden Stars Comes Silvery Due might have felt like a trump card played too early, but it set a tone that rarely dipped. Covers of Roy Hargrove’s Strasbourg St Denis and Lauryn Hill’s Doo-Wop might have felt like slightly pedestrian choices in less-accomplished hands, but still Jukes’ strength lies in his original material. There was sadly no prospect of Charles Bradley attending for the final hit of the set Grant Green, but the crowd already had their hands in the air in tribute and triumph.
Read all of our reviews from Love Supreme 2018, here.