Bound for York Museum Gardens in July, Jack Savoretti will release first Italian-speaking album, Miss Italia, on May 10

Jack Savoretti: First Italian-speaking album at 40. Picture: Chris Floyd

AHEAD of his York Museum Gardens concert on July 18, Anglo-Italian singer Jack Savoretti will be reconnecting with his roots on his first Italian-speaking album Miss Italia.

Released on May 10, it is preceded by first single Senza Una Donna (Without A Woman), Londoner Savoretti’s collaboration with Italian superstar singer-songwriter Zucchero. First released in 1991 as a five million-selling duet between Zucchero and Paul Young, the 2024 version is enriched by new arrangements and production.

Over a 30-year career, blues musician Zucchero has sold more than 60 million records, played world tours and collaborated with Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis, B.B. King and Sting.

In turn, singer-songwriter Savoretti has chalked up collaborations with Bob Dylan, Kylie Minogue, Shania Twain, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Nile Rodgers, among others. However, although bi-lingual from birth, writing in Italian was uncharted territory for Savoretti until now in a 16-year recording career that has delivered seven albums, his last two, 2019’s Singing To Strangers and 2021’s Europiana, both topping the official UK album charts.

The cover artwork for Jack Savoretti’s Miss Italia album

Over the years, his songwriting has been informed by his musical upbringing, with its combination of 1960s/1970s’ California singer-songwriters and European chansonniers such as Charles Aznavour and Lucio Battisti. For Miss Italia, Savoretti sought to hone his craft even further, in a different language to boot.

Sourcing a who’s who from the contemporary songwriting scene in Italy, he found a group of fellow craftsmen and women for collaborations. The resulting album came at an important moment in 40-year-old Savoretti’s life, following the death of his Italian father.

“My father was the anchor that tied me to Italy, the connection to my roots that I felt I was at risk of losing without him,” says Jack, whose full name is Giovanni Edgar Charles Galletto-Savoretti.

The poster for Jack Savoretti’s outdoor concert in York Museum Gardens, promoted by Futuresound

“So I went back to school. I didn’t want to imitate Italian music; I wanted to make it my own, combining everything I had learned over almost 20 years of experience from working in America, England, and Italy, merging Anglo-Saxon singer-songwriting with Italian to create something unique. I first had to learn to write in Italian before making MY album in Italian.”

He will be playing York in a month that will take him to Italy to perform at the Tener-A-Mente Festival, Gardone Riviera, on July 7 and Teatro La Versiliana, Marina Di Pietrasanta, on July 31, either side of his Museum Gardens show.

Will he sing any of Miss Italia’s songs in York? Find out on July 18. Tickets are on sale via His special guests that day will be Irish storytelling songwriter Foy Vance and York singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Gates open at 5pm.

First, Shed Seven two-nighter, now Jack Savoretti confirmed for July 18 at Museum Gardens. Fourth gig to be announced soon

Jack Savoretti: First York appearance since 2017. Picture: Supplied

JACK Savoretti is to headline July 18’s triple bill at York Museum Gardens with support from special guests Foy Vance and York singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

General ticket sales open at 9am this morning at

London-born acoustic singer-songwriter Savoretti, 40, has released seven studio albums and one compilation, Songs From Different Times, since 2007.

Savoretti, whose exotic full name is Giovanni Edgar Charles Galletto-Savoretti, previously played York in an intimate gig at Fibbers on July 16 2017, when promoter Mr H, alias legendary York club boss Tim Hornsby, enthused: “He’s a class act, a modern-day troubadour, a thrilling performer, a giant.

“Our hero may have started as a lonely acoustic troubadour, relying on not much more than his songs and that careworn growl, but we’re now witnessing a gorgeous widescreen sweep, drawing on a rich Italian heritage, with Morricone-like flourishes and battlefield last stands.”

Storytelling Bangor bluesman Foy Vance

Such sentiments still stand, rubber-stamped by the chart accolade of Savoretti hitting number one with his past two studio albums, March 2019’s Singing To Strangers, recorded at Ennio Morricone’s studio in Rome, and June 2021’s Europiana, conceived in lockdowns at Jack’s Oxfordshire home. A deluxe edition, Europiana Encore, followed in 2022.

In an Instagram post last November, Savoretti revealed he was “in the studio, where we are putting the final touches to the new album”.

The title and release date details are yet to be announced but CharlesHutchPress’s early request for an interview elicited this response from Chelsea Bakewell, marketing manager for concert promoters Futuresound: “Jack’s team mentioned they are pausing on interview until the album is out so this isn’t something which can be facilitated at this moment in time I’m afraid.” Watch this space!

Northern Irish storytelling bluesman, survivor, rocker and folk hero Foy Vance, 49, will be returning to York for the first time since headlining York Barbican on his Signs Of Life tour in August 2022.

Now living in Tottenham, London, York singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich, 34, will release his fifth studio album, Some Things Break, next Friday on Dirty Hit Records, his regular home since becoming the label’s first signing at the age of 21 in 2011.

Composed over the past two years at locations across the globe, from London to Nashville, Washington to Stockholm, Some Things Break was produced by Grammy Award-winning Jimmy Hogarth and features collaborations with fellow songwriters Mikky Ekko, Jamie Squire and Jon Green.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich: New album to be released on February 9. Picture: Harry Pearson

The track listing will be:  I’m Always Saying Sorry; Moon Landing Hoax; Break In The Weather; New York; Some Things Break; Spokane, Washington; God’s Best; A Love Like That; Only You and Don’t Give Up on The Light.

“Learning to hold onto certain things and let go of others, with as much grace as possible, I feel like I’m hiding less on this record,” says Leftwich. “Ultimately, I think it’s a record about a kind of slow acceptance that some things break and, for me, sometimes that’s necessary for healing.”

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Leftwich will open his eight-date spring tour at Leeds Brudenell Social Club on April 4, where he will be accompanied by The 1975’s Jamie Squire on piano. For tickets, head to:

Leftwich has played myriad concerts in York over the past 15 years, none more contrasting than an exclusive, intimate album launch gig for Gratitude at the 50-capacity FortyFive Vinyl Café, Micklegate, on March 15 2019, followed only a fortnight later by York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

Savoretti’s concert will be part of a four-night run of Futuresound promotions at York Museum Gardens. York’s revitalised Britpop survivors, Shed Seven, will ride in on a crest of a wave for sold-out 30th anniversary gigs on July 19 and 20, with The Libertines’ Peter Doherty in support, after topping the album charts for the first time with A Matter Of Time on January 12.

The fourth concert will be announced soon.

The poster for Jack Savoretti’s July 18 concert at York Museum Gardens

More Things To Do in York and beyond when questions needs answering. Such as? Find out in List No. 96, from The Press

Barrel of laughs: Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, has the answer, whatever the question

FOOD and food for thought, pub concert and Pub Landlord, outsider comedy and  family drama whet Charles Hutchinson’s appetite.

Comedy gig of the week in York: Al Murray: The Pub Landlord, Gig For Victory, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

“AS the dust settles and we emerge blinking into the dawn of a new year, the men and women of this great country will need answers,” reckons the Guvnor, Al Murray. “Answers that they know they need, answers to questions they never knew existed.”

When that moment comes, who better to show the way, to provide those answers, than the people’s man of the people, Murray, The Pub Landlord? Cue his pugnacious bar-room wisdom in the refurbished Grand Opera House. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or

Miles and The Chain Gang: New territory tonight

Pub gig of the week: Miles and The Chain Gang, The New Smithy Arms, Malton Road, Swinton, near Malton, tonight (27/8/2022), 9pm

YORK band Miles and The Chain Gang are heading to the New Smithy Arms gastro pub this weekend.

“It’s our first time performing in the Malton area,” says songwriter and singer Miles Salter. “We’ll be playing a selection of our own songs, plus some old classics from Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and The Rolling Stones.”

Latest single Love Is Blind has been aired 400 times on radio stations around the world, YouTube views of the band have topped 50,000 and their 2022 gig diary has taken in Doncaster, Harrogate and Helmsley.

Three-day event: Malton Summer Food Lovers Festival

Festival of the week: Malton Summer Food Lovers Festival, today (27/8/2022) and tomorrow from 9am, Bank Holiday Monday, from 10am.

THIS is the second Malton Food Lovers Festival of 2022, taking over the streets of “Yorkshire’s food capital” for three days in a celebration of fine produce and cooking.

Expect artisan stalls, street food, talks, tastings, celebrity chefs, cookery and blacksmith demonstrations, a festival bar, buskers, brass bands and Be Amazing Arts in the Creativitent.

Look out for Tommy Banks, from The Black Swan, Oldstead, and Roots, York, on the festival demo stage today at 1pm. Festival entry is free.

Daniel Kitson: Wanting a word with you Outside

Comedy gigs of the week outside York: Daniel Kitson: Outside, At The Mill, Stillington Mill, near York, Monday (29/8/2022) to Wednesday, 7.30pm

DENBY Dale stand-up comedian Daniel Kitson had not been on stage for two years when he contacted At The Mill promoter Alexander Flanagan Wright to say “hello, could I come and do a show?”.

Not one show, but six work-in-progress gigs, performed in two sold-out blocks from May 23 to 25 and June 8 to 10. He enjoyed the Mill outdoor experience so much, he has added a third run for August’s dying embers.

Tickets have flown again for the latest chance to watch Kitson “find out whether he can still do his job and what, if anything, he has to say to large groups of people he doesn’t know”. For returns only, contact

That’ll be Mel Day: Guest star for The Story Of Soul. Picture: Entertainers

History show of the week: The Story Of Soul, Grand Opera House, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm

FROM the producers of Lost In Music and The Magic Of Motown comes The Story Of Soul with special guest Mel Day, “The Soul Man” from Britain’s Got Talent.

This journey through the history of sweet soul music takes in the songs of Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind And Fire, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, The Pointer Sisters, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Ben E King, Barry White and plenty more. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or

Foy Vance: Showing Signs Of Life at York Barbican

Blues gig of the week: Foy Vance, Signs Of Life Tour, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.50pm

NORTHERN Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance plays York Barbican in support of his fourth studio album, Signs Of Life, in a gig rearranged from March 25.

The redemptive record finds Bangor-born Vance – husband, father, hipster, sinner, drinker – belatedly coming to terms with his demons in his late-40s.

The storytelling bluesman, survivor, rocker and folk hero calls Signs Of Life “an album of dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation, uplift after lockdown”. Box office:

One for the Family Album: Writer-director Alan Ayckbourn, left, Jude Deeno and David Lomond in rehearsal for his 87th play, premiering at the SJT. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Play launch of the week: Alan Ayckbourn’s Family Album, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Friday to October 1

FAMILY Album, his 87th full-length play, is written, directed and sound designed by Alan Ayckbourn for its world premiere in The Round at the SJT.

Ayckbourn tenderly chronicles the trials, tribulations and temptations of three generations of one family across 70 years in the same home. 

Join RAF veteran John and housewife Peggy as they proudly move into the first home they can really call their own in 1952; daughter Sandra, frantically negotiating the challenges of a ten-year-old’s birthday party without her AWOL husband in 1992, and granddaughter Alison, finally escaping the house she has somewhat unwillingly inherited in 2022. Box office: 01723 370541 or

The poster for In The Name Of Love, The Diana Ross Story tribute show

Tribute show of the week: In The Name Of Love, The Diana Ross Story, York Barbican, September 3, 7.30pm

IN the wake of Diana Ross headlining the Platinum Party At The Palace at 78 and playing Leeds First Direct Arena in June with a 14-piece band, here comes the tribute show.

In a chronological set list, Cheri Jade takes on The Supremes’ catalogue before Tameka Jackson handles the solo Diana years.

Here come Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, Stop In The Name Of Love, Reflections, You Keep Me Hanging On, You Can’t Hurry Love, Stoned Love, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Touch Me In The Morning, Upside Down, My Old Piano, I’m Coming Out and Chain Reaction. Box office:

Foy Vance comes to terms with demons on fourth album ahead of York Barbican gig

Foy Vance: Storytelling singer-songwriter from Bangor, Northern Ireland, now living in the Scottish Highlands

NORTHERN Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance will play York Barbican on March 25 on next year’s British tour in support of his fourth studio album, Signs Of Life.

His second release on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records label arrives today on CD, vinyl and digital formats as his follow-up to 2016’s The Wild Swan.

Signs Of Life finds Bangor-born Vance – husband, father, hipster, sinner, drinker – belatedly coming to terms with his demons at 47. Driven by percussion, lead single Time Stand Still features a soaring, emotive vocal from Vance, who was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers at the time of writing.

Likewise, Vance tackles the subject head on in Hair Of The Dog, listing his self-medicating crutches while confessing, “You no longer make me happy/You no longer make me smile/You take everything that’s good within me.”

“I had my first extended period off the road after 20 years of constant touring,” says the moustachioed storytelling bluesman, survivor, rocker and folk hero. “I realised: wow, I drink two bottles of wine and at least a half bottle of vodka a day. I’d start the day with codeine to get myself sorted, and I’d smoke joints throughout the day.

“So, I realised: I have so many incredibly bad habits here. I’m showing all the signs of death, getting ashen, grey, smoking more, drinking more, smoking more…I hit a wall.”

“Signs of Life is about re-emergence: me in my own soft revolution, the world re-emerging in what we’re about to see as we hopefully go back to some semblance of normality,” says Foy Vance

His manager urged him to seek help. “And in those moments, you do wish time would stand still,” says Vance. “Can’t I just stop here and sit in this moment before I have to take up that mantle?”

Alternative/indie vocalist, guitarist and piano player Vance released his debut album, Hope, independently in 2007 before signing to Glassnote Records for his second full-length album, 2013’s Joy Of Nothing, winner of the inaugural Northern Ireland Music Prize. He has since toured the globe with Ed Sheeran, Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol and Sir Elton John, as well as on his solo headline tours.

In 2015, Vance became the second signing to Gingerbread Man Records, Sheeran’s label division within Atlantic Records. The Wild Swan surfaced in 2016, executive-produced by Sir Elton John, with the singles Coco, Upbeat Feelgood and Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution all being playlisted on BBC Radio 2. That year too, Vance performed on NBC’s Today and CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. 

Now comes Signs Of Life. “As always, Foy has knocked it out of the park,” says Sheeran. “I love giving him the creative freedom to do what he wants as I’m at the end of the day just a huge fan of his work. It’s such a joy to be able to put out such great bodies of work from him, I hope everyone enjoys it as much as me.”

“As always, Foy has knocked it out of the park,” says Ed Sheeran of Foy Vance’s second album for his Gingerbread Man Records label

“I feel like I’ve got a confidante in Ed, a real ally,” responds Vance. “In many ways he has found a way to afford me the ability to keep on making art the way I want to make it. It’s comforting to know that no matter what I wanted to do, he would fight for it.”

This week, Vance is playing six intimate sold-out shows on his An Evening With Foy Vance Tour 2021, taking in Leeds Brudenell Social Club on Tuesday, and tonight’s London gig at St Pancras Old Church will be livestreamed globally from 9pm BST with multiple broadcasts to follow. Tickets are available at:

Signs Of Life was recorded in three locations: Vance’s Pilgrim studio at home on the shores of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, another recording set-up in nearby Dunvarlich House and at Plan B’s Kings X studio in London.

The album was written and played more or less entirely by Vance, with assistance from young Northern Irish producer Gareth Dunlop. 

Among the first tracks Vance wrote was the mea-culpa album opener Sapling – now rapidly approaching two million streams on Spotify –and it showed him the path forward.

“I once built a bower, I could build you a home,” he sings in his promise to his new wife, after her move from London to join Vance in his adopted Highland home, that he would do more than simply offer a new domestic setting. Or, as he puts it in his inimitable style: “Let me go further and do the actual right thing instead of being a drunken ballbag.”

Fashioned out of the grimness of 2020, Signs Of Life is an album of dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation, uplift after lockdown. It comes encased in bold sleeve artwork that reflects Vance’s desire to embrace all sides of everything, all humanity’s textures.

The “mad, striking image” for the album cover for Foy Vance’s Signs Of Life

Shot on a 160-year-old camera that “does arresting things with colours and shading”, the front image depicts him in a dress, blond wig and theatrical make-up back; on the back, he becomes a bare-chested, bare-knuckle boxer.

“They’re just mad, striking images, and I loved the fact that it was male and female,” explains Vance. “You know, life’s extreme, life’s volatile, life explodes into reality sometimes, and stops just as quick. So, to be struck by images on the cover made sense.”

A new collection of Foy Vance songs would be a tonic at any time, not only for devotee Ed Sheeran. Right now, in pandemic times, they cannot arrive a moment too soon. “That’s a huge part of it,” says Vance.

“Signs of Life is about re-emergence: me in my own soft revolution, the world re-emerging in what we’re about to see as we hopefully go back to some semblance of normality. But just life in general – flowers growing through the cracks in Chernobyl. Life finds a way, doesn’t it?”

The full track listing is: Sapling; We Can’t Be Tamed; Signs Of Life; Roman Attack; People Are Pills; Time Stand Still; If Christopher Calls; System; Hair Of The Dog; Resplendence; Republic Of Eden; It Ain’t Over and Percolate.

Tickets for Vance’s March 25 2022 gig – his first in York since playing Fibbers in June 2008 – go on sale at 10am on September 17 at

Knockout punch: Foy Vance in boxer mode on the back sleeve of Signs Of Life