After entering The Nook from the cold, rainy streets of York we were warmly greeted by fairy lights, candles and a warm atmosphere. The small floor space was furnished with well-worn tables and equally worn chairs which a few people had already occupied. In the limited open-space was York’s own Jess Jayne setting up her equipment, chatting to friends who came to support her show. With a beer from York’s local Brew York the set began.
Opening the set with an original ‘Fire’ you can hear the different styles of music that influences her song-writing. The jazzy vibe of ‘Fire’ with her smoky tone that has a little bit of bite and attitude unknowingly draws her into focus. Old-school Jason Mraz and Charlotte Cardin come to mind when hearing Jess sing.
As more people started to trickle in and eventually fill up The Nook she carries on with some more original songs such as ‘Ugly’ and ‘Platonic’ which have a similar sassy and cool tone that ‘Fire’ had. Along with the small introduction she gave before each song and the songs themselves, the occupants of The Nook that night were clapping and cheering by the end with bright smiles on their faces. Jayne’s songs are, to put it simply, very relatable, especially to the mostly-university-student crowd; everyone was in stride with Jess’ music.
The tone shifted to some slower covers such as ‘9 Crimes’ by Damien Rice and ‘If I Didn’t Know Better’ by The Civil Wars. As a big Damien Rice fan myself her rendition of ‘9 Crimes’ left me captivated with the emotion she brought out with every strum of her guitar and every word she sung.
An unexpected but welcome performance came from Writer’s Rain (Nina Sundstrom) as Jess grabbed a well-deserved glass of prosecco where she sang her own songs ‘Nervous’ and ‘Click’ added to how pleasant the night was.
Jess put down her glass and picked up her guitar once again as she played some more of her own songs. One that I particularly enjoyed was ‘Static’ which showed the more folk/acoustic side to her music and voice. Her music is authentic and raw and catches you in mid-conversation with friends, causing you to pause and really listen.
As the night drew to an end she ended her set with some covers of ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC and ‘Say my Name’ by Destiny’s Child that got the cosy crowd singing along. After saying her thanks to those who came along people started to leave The Nook with spirits lifted into the chilly night.
During the entire performance everyone in the room could see how much Jess was enjoying herself ; I was feeding off that energy and thoroughly enjoyed the night. You could not only see but feel the passion and excitement as she played her set. The down-to-earth way she casually talked in between songs and laughed with the crowd just added to the whole night.