Homegrown star Joel Jackson was back in town at the weekend for his first home gig since he was a child. Jackson treated the audience to original songs from his album Boy On A Wire plus covers of Aussie classics from Paul Kelly, INXS, and Hunters & Collectors. Performing in the Six Degrees Goldroom to a small audience of mostly friends and family — including his 91-year-old grandmother — Jackson had the room transfixed. His casual, charming and often comedic stage presence provided the perfect way to spend a Saturday night. Kicking the night off with his original Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right, Jackson’s soft voice and raw lyrics emanated across the room as he strummed away on his acoustic guitar. The 29-year-old singer-songwriter broke up the performance with old classics from the likes of Elton John to some more contemporary covers of Vance Joy and Mumford & Sons. His stripped-back versions were soul-warming and showcased his talents. Encouraging the audience to join in with belting out the lyrics or cheering him on, Jackson split the room in half with one side the “woos” and the other shouting “yay”. This little game was a hit with the crowd who were trying to out cheer each other after Jackson’s songs. A highlight of the night for me was some of the songs he chose to cover. Songs by Paul Kelly summoned memories of family holidays when my dad would plug in his iPod to play Dumb Things or How To Make Gravy. Jackson’s rendition of My Happiness by Powderfinger included some tongue-in-cheek antics, bringing an element of light relief to the night. The performer had taken some time out during the COVID-19 lockdown period to plan the show and think about what it meant to be an artist. He lost a feature film opportunity in Queensland and is now waiting to film the second season of TV series Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries. If he can find time to squeeze in another local show, I won’t be be complaining.