If rumours are to be believed, Jack White's all male and all female backing bands only learn which of them will be playing live that night over breakfast on the morning of the gig. White must have been feeling generous (or less of a megalomaniac, perhaps) in London this weekend the, as he brought both of his bands out to party.
The irony in focusing so much attention on those behind White is, of course, that his magnetic stage presence renders pretty much everyone else up there with him irrelevant. From sister Meg through various Raconteurs and Alison Mosshart, you still just focus in on White and keep it locked.
Going solo makes sense for Jack White, he is free to pull focus without guilt and treat the iTunes Festival crowd to hits from throughout his career. Additionally, this freedom has seen White hit a rich vein of songwriting form with 'Sixteen Saltines' and 'Love Interruption' backing the argument that 2012's 'Blunderbuss' is White's finest album to date. These two songs show the blueprint of all White's material with one being a riff heavy, demonic garage rock buzzsaw and the other a country tinged and hopelessly romantic ballad. This is where utilising the two backing bands make sense. The former, as well as Dead Weather song 'Cut Like A Buffalo', are ably assisted by stellar drumming of The Buzzards (that's the male band name) Daru Jones while the latter sees White hook up with Ruby Amanfu of The Peacocks, his female band.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, for a man seems like he'd deride iTunes and MP3's as witchcraft, there is a sense of nostalgia in their air for White in 2012 - with all of the loudest sing alongs reserved for White Stripes material.
'Hardest Button to Button' and 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground' test White's brilliant musical skills to the max but it is 'Seven Nation Army' which delivers tonight. Newly adopted as a football terrace anthem (somewhere White seems even more alien to than a festival celebrating download culture) that inescapable riffs rings out from White's guitar, through the audience and out of the door to the streets below. Whoever he has up there with him, as long as White has this in his back pocket he'll never need anybody else.