I’m not sure how many people will care all that much but around 4 years ago, Jamie T was kind of a big deal. He was one of my favourite artists before his first album even dropped but then after a winning awards and critical acclaim for his second album and selling out shows everywhere, he just disappeared.
Hey, things like that happen, you move on, you find someone else to listen to, but Jamie T was always a regular among my playlists.
I think someone broke his heart terribly and it’s something you can really feel in some of the raw lyrics across his new album, Carry On the Grudge. I’d love to know where he’s been but mostly, I’m really happy that he’s back and I hope he doesn’t do a disappearing act like that, at least without an explanation, for a long while.
So that’s why Moon and I were in Norwich over the weekend, not just because we fancied visiting Norwich (more on that part later though because it’s a swell city), but because when the guy who wrote ‘your song’ makes a comeback after being quiet for practically half a decade and is sold out anywhere nearby, you’ve got to make the effort.
When in a student union, man must snakebite, and then regret it.
This is around the fourth time I’ve seen Jamie T and I must admit, as great a performer as he is and as much as I’ve enjoyed each show, he had a 1 in 3 track-record in my eyes of poor support – I did see Slow Club support him at the iTunes Festival though (before it became impossible to get tickets) – so when Moon said he recognised Saturday night’s support as Slaves, a shouty, aggressive band that ‘I’m gonna hate’, I wasn’t looking forward to waiting around for 2 hours to get to the good bit.
I think what I learnt from the above is that Moon, even after all this time, might not know me as well as he thinks he does. SLAVES WERE AWESOME!
When he said I’d hate it, I figured it might be metally – metal, I can do without – but they weren’t. Much like Jamie T, this duo from Royal Tunbridge Wells were a brilliant blend of rap with old-school punk vibes and they had the perfect amount of swagger with almost (Arctic)Monkey-esque banter. I’m a fan.
Their lyrics are clever and funny, and yes, they are loud and not necessarily what I would usually listen to but as live performances go, I’d definitely recommend that you check them out. Especially for their on-stage stories, Girl Fight’s back story was my favourite.
As for Jamie T himself, as you may gather from my opening statement, he was just as on-point as I remember. Performing with a new band, it was fairly obvious that he was a bit nervous as the crowd were crazy-buzzed but as soon as he was out from behind the guitar, he came into his own and it really felt like he’d never even been away.
He played a mixture of old and new songs and we sang along to every word and (even as far back as we were) got pushed about a bit. First time in a long while that I’ve lost my voice at a gig, but that just about did the trick.
The stand-out songs for me (Pacemaker, Operation and If You Got the Money) were oldies but the whole set was perfection. If you’re lucky enough to be catching him at all this month during this sell-out tour run then you’re in for a proper treat, he’s doing a few less whiskey chasers on stage than before and the slow songs are a bit more poignant but there’s no doubt about it that he’s still got it!