George St Thebarton
Jack Robins & the Pretty Problems + Hide & Seek
A great man once said of Jack Robins, ‘personally, I blame the parents.’
A singer, guitarist and songwriter with a wealth of experience both in Australia and overseas, Jack has played with a variety of groups over the course of his chaotic and faintly ludicrous existence, including The Units and The -ists in Adelaide and The Pleasure District, The Sleepwalkers and The Last Priests in London. He has also played extensively in the London acoustic club scene.
Jack writes literate, nuanced and sophisticated songs inspired by great country and pop songwriters like Jimmy Webb and Willie Nelson, with a dash of Jacques Brelthrown in, and delivers them in a clear, expressive voice underpinned by a sympathetic and complementary finger-picking guitar style. His songs have received praise from sources as diverse as singer-songwriters’ singer-songwriter Charles Jenkins and Grammy-winner Terry Britten.
His songs made the final of SCALA’s Festival of Original Music song competition in the three years in which he entered, winning in 2014 with his song Walking on, and gaining a commendation in 2015 for This will pass over and in 2017 for Cheating Moon.
Jack released his first acoustic album Notes in March 2019. The album and the first two singles from it (If and Cheating Moon) are now available on Bandcamp (https://jackrobins.bandcamp.com/releases) and all major streaming services.
Backing Jack on the album were Adelaide luminaries Emma Luker (violin), Greg Blanch (pedal steel), Andy Przygonski (drums) and Stephen Loss (double bass), to whom it seemed somehow appropriate to Jack’s diseased mind to give the collective name ‘The Pretty Problems’ (a partial misnomer, as, though they are indeed all pretty, they are not problems at all). They have forgiven him to the extent that most of them will be backing him at the Wheaty on 4 September; indeed, he has even cajoled guitar maestro Darren Zaza into augmenting the ensemble for the occasion.
Special guests for the evening will be really rather lovely local trio Hide and Seek. Comprised of Emma Hughes, Karno Martin and Matthew Jolly, they write and perform original songs with a sound they describe as ‘melancholy, bittersweet, dreamy, light, bright and maudlin’.