Gig review by Zak Edwards with photography by Bianca Barrett

Jamie T

Once in a while – far from often – there seems to become a voice of a generation. Think Lennon/McCartney in the 60’s, Rotten in the 70’s, Gallagher in the 90’s and Alex Turner in the 00’s. It’s not just about their tunes, although all of the above are pretty much universally classed as being excellent singer/songwriters. It’s more about their ability to capture the ‘mood’ of the nation at the particular juncture in time and deliver a message in musical form. For me Jamie T deserves to sit within this group. No doubt. Read the review and I’ll tell you why…

Jamie T

From the moment we entered Brum’s Academy, to the sound of the rather splendid support act Superfood, you could tell it was gonna be a good un! There was a palpable air of excitement for what awaited the largely twenty something crowd of lads and ladettes. Tracksuit tops and baseball caps in abundance, it was definitely a night to be with your mates and ‘having it’.

A bit about the support. Superfood, of whom there’s a lot of deserving hype at the moment, seem to have gone back to the early 90’s for their inspiration and delivered a finely tuned set of guitar led indie pop. Catchy! Interestingly (well, for me anyway) this was the second female bass player I’d seen within a week – having caught the excellent Paloma Faith at the Symphony Hall earlier in the week. Good to see the ladies getting involved in an instrument which for pretty much ever has been the primary exponent of the male of the species.

Jamie T

The headline act made his way to the stage to the chants of ‘Jamie fucking T’ and dived straight in to excellent, yet understated noobies, ‘Limits Lie’ and ‘Don’t you Find’. The crowd were on their best behaviour and it wasn’t until midway through the second song that the obligatory beer started ascending (and quickly descending) through the airwaves. Rather than ‘literally’ dampen peoples spirits this simply enhanced the mood. Nothing was going to stop the party.

Jamie T

What was evident – and somewhat amazing – from very early on, was that pretty much everybody in attendance knew all of the words to every song. Even those on his new album ‘Carry on the Grudge’. For me it was akin to a musical form of hero worshipping and emphasised how much influence the singer has on this particular socio-demographic sector of the countries young. Food for thought.

Jamie T

His band – the Pacemakers – seemed to emulate their leader. Raggy arsed Rover in appearance, it would be easy to dismiss them very much as the supporting cast, but it soon becomes apparent that they more ‘Melchester’ than ‘Raggy arsed’ and are an integral part of the performance as they deliver the perfect musical and harmonic foil for the singer.

Jamie T

The King of the Chorus switched gloriously from one extreme to another – moving from the raucous to the soft and melodic with consummate ease. The beautiful ‘Emilys Heart’ followed the rocking ‘Rabbit Hole’ for example. All with the vocal support of the mesmerised audience.

Jamie T

22 songs in, covering all the best bits from his 3 albums, the singer’s encored/whipped the crowd in to a frenetic frenzy with 3 classics – ‘Shelia’, the excellent ‘Zombie’ and fans favourite ‘Sticks and Stones’. The audience – apoplectic with excitement were left baying for more like rabid dogs and I guess that’s the way an artist likes it. Then that was it. Hot, sweaty and slightly sticky due to the airborne alcoholic assault everyone made their way to the exit. On the way out I overheard one slightly inebriated young lady commented she was “wet with sweat, beer, and Jamie T’s love juice.” I guess she was speaking metaphorically. That aside it was evident that everyone had loved every minute of it as the crowd were smiling from ear to ear in unison.

Jamie T

So why the voice of a generation? Well, those in attendance certainly know why and those having to ask probably wont ‘get’ why. But do yourself a favour – get on Spotify, YouTube or an alternative music subscription service of your choosing have a listen (I mean a REAL listen) and you’ll soon see.

Leave a Reply