Jamie T takes his grand return to the gigging circuit in his stride with typical swagger, Getintothis‘ Peter Guy soaks up the sweaty atmosphere at The Kazimier.
‘Tickets, buy or sell, tickets…’
‘Two hundred, mate.’
‘Let me phone me mum…’
It was that kind of surreal affair as Jamie T played the second of three comeback shows since his last gig in August 2010. Selling out in under ten minutes, a venue four times as big as the Kazimier could have provided a more suitable alternative but as it was, no one was left in any doubt over the anticipation of the Wimbledon rabble rouser’s return.
To emphasise the point, minutes before showtime, Jamie Alexander Treays is spotted waltzing across Wolstenholme Square as a mob of excited teenage girls squeal with glee, moments later he’s greeted by 470 fans going absolutely bananas. That he opens with new track, Limits Lie, and is greeted by the kind of reaction usually reserved for ritalin-fuelled toddlers entering the ball-pit in a wacky warehouse only serves to underline the point: Jamie T is still a big deal.
What it is that makes him such is quite clear; a combination of galloping rock & roll hooks, an affable yet reticent nature and the marriage of brattish tribal vocals with lyrics about ‘lightweight pricks’ and ‘sucking mommas dicks’ make him a pin-up boy for coming-of-age kids who love their tunes.
And the tunes? Well, tonight’s a primer for new album, Carry On The Grudge, his first since 2009’s Kings and Queens‘ so the hour long set is split 50-50 from old and new. As a result some hit, some miss and some smash the bloody roof off.
Comeback single, Don’t You Find proves an early winner with it’s woozy synths, Afro-funk rhythms and big vocal refrains which finds the audience in equally as big voice. But it’s not until the one-two punch of Salvador, from 2007’s Panic Prevention, and Hocus Pocus that the mass of limbs coagulate into a soup of limbs and sweaty glue.
A brace of new tracks, Rabbit Hole and Murder Of Crows, provide a sliver of respite before the lolloping Joe-Strummer-does-The-Streets big-hitter, The Man’s Machine ramps it up a further notch. By now bodies are spilling on to the stage at alarming regularity and security have taken the unorthodox step of escorting dripping wet crowd surfers out via the top balcony behind the band.
Following a mini breather as condensation drips from above, Jamie and his backing band bound back on to the stage to blast through closers If You Got The Money (complete with extra swagger) and a storming Sticks N Stones – it’s a fitting finale to a one-hour head rush and while we’re left slightly bemused by the pandemonium, there’s little doubt that Mr T’s definitively part of all those in attendances’ musical A-Team.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Gaz Jones