We’ve featured Jenn Bostic here before, and when the opportunity came for us to see her live, we leapt at the chance. Jenn had booked a gig at 229 The Venue, in London’s Fitzrovia, expecting no more than about 30 people to turn up. It was however a packed house – 229 holds a maximum of 200 people, and there must have been nearly that number in attendance.
Supporting Jenn was Katie Nicholas, who we’ve seen before at another prestigious London venue, The Water Rats, Kings Cross. Jenn introduced Katie, who then led us through seven songs, including one which at that point had no name – she asked for suggestions from the audience. Starting with Chemistry, from her ‘Dizzy’ album, Katie then led into a cover of Miranda Lambert’s ‘House That Built Me’. This was followed by another of Katie’s own songs, ‘A&E’. After her new, unnamed song, she sang titular track, ‘Dizzy’, then ‘Fight or Flight’, which had the stand out lyric, “Tonight I chose flight, but I didn’t fight”. Very very moving! Katie rounded off her set with ‘Sweet Talk’, my favourite from her album. You can read Katie’s album album review here.
After a short break, Jenn came on stage, opening with her new song, ‘Faithful’, which had everyone singing along, and included the great line, “Who you gonna be when there’s no-one else around?”. After that she led into “Kind of Feel Like Falling In Love”, another rousing number, which still managed to fit in nicely ahead of “Cold & Frozen”.
After telling us that she was off to Germany the next day, and how she’s missing her husband, who’s “a cross between Chuck Norris and one of the Duck Dynasty guys” she sang, “Missin’ the Man”, as he was back home in the US.
Jenn recently had the pleasure of recording for Songs of Praise, singing and playing piano. Her episode airs on June 14. On the programme she sings her song, “Little Grace”, and this is what she sang next. It’s a moving, heartfelt song, and certainly stirred the audience.
Following this Jenn recounted how she had recently had the opportunity to speak with Alex Lester on BBC Oxford, and also to Justine Green on BBC Country. At this point she started talking about her new song, ‘Counterfeit’, the video for which she has recently filmed in LA. It’s about the “Voices in your head, people in your life, see their true colours, silence their voices”. It’s a brilliant song, and we can see it being just as successful as her others.
Jenn stepped it up a notch next, and sang a cover of Otis Redding’s ‘Dock of the Bay’. It was dedicated to her friends Sam and Alistair, who are getting married on the 20th of June. It’s not a love song, by any means, but it’s definitely a lovely song, and she gave a great rendition of it.
Next was the song quite a lot of the audience had been waiting for, including the lady sitting next to me, for whom the song had a lot of meaning, ‘Jealous of the Angels’. Jenn related the back story of the song, how she was involved in a car accident when she was 10, and her father was killed. Moving, and very touching, three lines stood out to me:
“Tell me I was only dreaming”
“There will be another angel around the throne tonight”
“Just jealous of the angels around the throne tonight”
“God must need another angel around the throne tonight”
The heartache and sadness that went into writing that song, yet at the same time, there’s joy. Jenn Bostic takes her faith very seriously and it’s made apparent in all her songs.
To lighten the mood a bit, Jenn next sang, ‘I Don’t Like You At All’, a song about all the “stuff” in marriage, how we still love our partner, even if at times we don’t like them much. “You know I love you but tonight I don’t like you at all”. She described how she’s a very indoorsy person, while her husband (the Chuck Norris/Duck Dynasty dude) is very macho and outdoorsy. Although they love each other endlessly…sometimes they don’t quite see eye to eye. And that’s okay.
‘Hurting Me, Hurting You’ is a song about how you have relationships which just aren’t helpful – the other person can’t get better (due to addiction or whatever) and ‘Doesn’t matter what I do, you’re hurting me, I’m hurting you’. ‘Not going to be your enabler tonight’. Jenn wrote the song from personal experience, and the pain she’s experienced is evident in the song. In fact, she said she’d tweeted earlier that day that if she got through the night without crying it’d be a miracle – there was no miracle that night.
Next up was ‘If You See Him’, another song of faith, about having a guardian angel. She followed it up with ‘Shiny New Toy’, about which a reviewer had written, “This song will have you singing in front of a mirror with your hairbrush”. I had neither hairbrush nor mirror, but I was nonetheless singing along with the chorus!
Jenn introduced her friend Jonny Wright, who co-wrote, produced, and played all the instruments on the next song, ‘Chasing Rainbows’. Jonny accompanied Jenn on guitar for the song, which is based on the Song of Solomon, and about constantly reaching for the next big thing, when instead we should be happy where we are and appreciate the beauty around us. ‘Always chasing rainbows to fill a space’.
Jenn rounded off her set with ‘Fight For Your Life’, and walked off the stage, with the audience crying out for an encore – with which she gladly complied! Starting with ‘Not Yet’, dedicated to her friend Kim, who has health issues, then a rousing version of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’. She ended the night with ‘What Love Feels Like’, leaving everyone in the audience wanting more. Jenn invited everyone to come and say hello, and warned that she was a hugger, so “if you don’t like hugs, let me know with your body language”. It was a brilliant night, and I’m glad I went.
Jenn Bostic’s new album, ‘Faithful’, is available from Amazon, and her new single, ‘Counterfeit’, was released yesterday.