Jack Savoretti. Where to start? Let’s just say, the entire male population should be grateful that there is only one of him!
The end of an horrendous week, most of which I seemed to spend cleaning, packing, driving and sleeping on a crash bed or couch. When I think back to my advocate’s famous quote apropos my being ‘a woman in her fifties with no skills’, I can only shake my head. No skills? The word backbone comes to mind! Becca had to be out of her ‘luxury’ dwelling at Glenalmond by yesterday and Manny? Well, put it this way, I do my best! Under strict instructions to make no comment when I invited myself for the night on Tuesday, I lasted all of ten minutes or so – and a jar of wine (only 2 wine glasses and neither clean!) – before I politely asked if I could give the place a quick hoover. Don’t get me wrong, I glean some satisfaction from hoovering but it wasn’t long before said implement gave up the ghost to which Manny, casually, commented, “it might be full?”. Full? Releasing the cylinder, I was all but engulfed in the contents spewing from every orifice as I rushed for the bin … Crisis averted. I had brought both bin bags and Dettol wipes. Now, just a case of identifying the bed linen which began life as a pristine white downie cover and sheet! “Are they in that pile over by the ironing board, by any chance?” Affirmative. “That shrunken, greyish mass of creases?” “Yep, that’s them.” “No problem at all. I’ll just give them a quick iron”, for the next … “Any chance of another jar of wine, Man?”
Just living the dream. Wait for the ending, though, and Jack Savoretti …
Meantime, I have to mention that interview with Prince Andrew last night. The news coverage I have seen today (Sunday) seems to be skirting round the fact that he all but buried himself! Did he really believe this would help? Carefully schooled in his choice of vocabulary, repeatedly stating he had ‘no recollection’ merely served to highlight his inability – nay, reluctance – to categorically condemn or deny certain allegations against him. Why would that be? Strategically recorded in Buckingham Palace to spotlight his position and, moreover, imply the Queen’s approval, he was at pains to appear relaxed and unflustered in the face of Emily Maitlis’ questioning. In part, he succeeded but, in doing so, he appeared to belittle the enormity of the accusations whilst showing no remorse, whatsoever. Unable to condemn the photograph as a fake, for some reason he was able to ‘recollect’ driving Beatrice to a party at Pizza Express in Woking – 18 years ago – on the night Virginia Giuffre claims they partied in Tramp before going back to Ghislaine Maxwell’s Belgravia house! Actually, with regard to said house, he claimed the photograph appeared to be taken upstairs, somewhere ‘I don’t think I ever went’. So, how would he recognise that it was upstairs?
I found the whole thing insulting and ultimately, I am sure, it will prove to be very damaging. How could he claim to have cut all ties with Epstein when he was imprisoned but then, following his release in 2010, go on to stay with him for four days in order to tell him that he could no longer see him? Sense? None. He was the guest of a convicted paedophile, for goodness sake, attending a dinner party in celebration of his release. Where is the justification in that? Oh, hang on …
‘My judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable – but that’s just the way it is.’
Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview.
In the closing minutes, he refers to Epstein conducting himself ‘in a manner unbecoming’ to which Emily Maitlis responds with a steely stare and the words, ‘Unbecoming? He was a sex offender!’ Prince Andrew: ‘Yes, I’m sorry. I’m being polite.’
‘Honourable’. ‘Polite’. These words lose their credence, offer no protection, when one is linked to a convicted sex offender. A convenient place to stay. A useful contact. Seriously? Is that it? The father of two daughters, it beggars belief.
As, of course, the intensity of the backlash increases, another key Establishment figure under fire is Boris Johnson. Subject to ethical misconduct claims relating to businesswoman, Jennifer Arcuri, a company run by the aforementioned reportedly received a public grant of £100,000 during Mr Johnson’s time in office as Mayor of London. Whilst a government audit has, subsequently, ruled the payment appropriate, the Prime Minister has, apparently, blocked all contact with Ms Arcuri serving, only, to fuel the flames. She is going nowhere and, rather, is prolific in the media referring to their ‘special relationship’! All so seedy and the apparent lack of any moral compass ensures just more of the same.
Where to turn? Jack Savoretti! An evening in the company of sheer class, it was a much-needed end to a difficult week and a welcome escape from an increasingly sordid world. As the lights dimmed, one was whisked away to a candle-lit cocktail lounge in the Eternal City to be serenaded by an Adonis. The ultimate in cool, he appeared on stage dressed in a navy suit and open-neck shirt, immediately commanding respect. One felt, at once, in the company of a gentleman who just happens to possess a talent for creating musical magic. A far cry from life beyond, he had the audience in the palm of his hand as he, effortlessly, performed his repertoire of songs: beautiful lyrics and melodies, most reminiscent of a bygone era; love songs befitting gentler times …
So handsome. So cool. So classy. So talented … and, yet, so humble. One couldn’t fail to notice how rarely the spotlight shone on him. Instead, the lighting – as though, that derived from candles – was directed at the band and the audience, as the magic emanated from the shadows. Suddenly, the music stopped as medical staff attended an audience member who had collapsed at the front of the stage. Visibly concerned, Jack stepped back to fetch a glass of water (not a pail!) then disappeared from the stage followed by his band. Caring, too! Could this guy be any more perfect?
Playing an assortment of guitars, he chatted to the audience as he told the backstory to many of his songs. He sipped red wine from a glass – of course, not a plastic cup in sight – and, as he held his hand to his heart, there was no question that he was genuine. Speaking of his wife and children, his final song seemed perfectly evocative of the man who is Jack Savoretti. Thirty-six years old, drop-dead gorgeous and the epitome of cool, he exudes a modesty which belies his talent. More than that, he is a gentleman … and therein lies his charm. Yes, too busy chatting, as we waited outside at the end of the night, we failed to notice him slipping into a taxi and he was gone. Was it too much to stop and say ‘Hello’? Somehow, his magic lives on regardless.
His final song? The title track of his album, Singing to Strangers. Just him and his acoustic guitar, I thought, at first, it was the opening chords to his version of The Killers, Human, about which I have enthused before. Instead, however, he left us with the most beautiful song, the lyrics of which could not be more fitting.
‘All I can do
Is try my very best to entertain you
All eyes on me again
But I don’t believe there’s anything to see
It’s only me
Can’t you see?
I’m singing to strangers.’
At risk of repeating myself, the entire male population should be grateful there is only one Jack Savoretti …
This is Trish, signing off.