Reviews \

Jack Peñate Brings ‘Matinée’ to Light

NEW YORK: The indie-poppin' Brit makes an enthusiastic stateside debut.

Former SPIN.com Artist of the Day Jack Peñate celebrated the stateside release of his debut album, Matinée,by turning the Mercury Lounge into an English pub last night (Jan. 22).Following a pitch-perfect set from NYC retro rockers the Postelles, theragamuffin tunesmith took to the stage, ultimately surprised by thefront row dominance of his fellow countrymen and women in the audiencefor the first of two sold-out NYC gigs. “I apologize to you NewYorkers,” joked Peñate about the many British accents sprinkled aroundthe crowd.

Next the English popster, backed by Joel Porter onbass and Alex Robins on drums, showcased his kinetic energy andsoul/rockabilly hybrid that’s made him a star in his native U.K.,including his signature silly dance moves and manic guitar strumming.The self-depreciating 23-year-old book-ended his hour-long performancewith his two Top 20 U.K. hits, the joyful “Spit at Stars” and “Torn Onthe Platform.” In between, Peñate charmed both Brits and Yankees,playfully explaining that he wrote the somber “When We Die” forweddings, and earnestly citing the Notorious B.I.G. as an influence.That announcement preceded the biggest surprise of the evening, an acappella version of the Biggie Smalls tune “Dead Wrong.”

We asked:In the song “Got My Favourite…,” Jack Peñate cites dog tags, a Westwoodcoat and a gold signet ring from his mother as some of his favoritethings. Since we’re on the topic of favorites, what’s your favoriteJack Peñate song and why?