Jamie T returned to Birmingham’s O2 Academy a happier figure; delivering a thumping live performance for his adoring crowd.
When Jamie T returned to the music scene in 2014, he brought with him a noticeable shadow. His songs were much darker, his interviews with regards to his mental state incredibly honest, and his world a seemingly tumultuous one.
With 2016’s new offering ‘Trick,’ and its subsequent tour, Jamie appears to be back to the playful, cheeky, brash boy he was when he first bounded onto the scene in 2007, and Birmingham’s O2 Academy were more than happy to welcome the familiar face with open arms.
While the gig’s first two tracks ‘Power Over Men’ and ‘Soloman Eagle,’ both taken from his fourth album ‘Trick,’ were sung back to Jamie T with much vigour, it was ultimately his most famous songs that received the utmost love from the crowd. From the thumping ‘Operation’ to the thrashing ‘Salvador,’ the artist pandered to “the oldies” in the crowd: the ones who had been there from the very beginning and waited patiently for his return to the stage.
Getting the balance right with four albums worth of excellent material is a challenge for most, but Jamie managed to deliver the perfect combination of old and new: from ‘Trick’s’ ‘Drone Strike’ to ‘Kings & Queens” opener ‘368,’ and the crowd lapped every one of the 21 songs up.
‘Sheila’ ultimately received the most raucous reaction of the night; an indie teenager’s rite of passage is seemingly to learn its lyrics, and be able to match Jamie T’s fast-paced delivery of the superb song.
The sing-alongs lasted all evening, as did the accomplished performance from both Jamie and his band. Jamie T’s repertoire is extensive: from wordplay and near-rapping, to standing on his own with an acoustic guitar and no band around him, he is a performer, artist, songwriter, poet. And what is even more refreshing is that, amongst all the things he can be labelled as, the stand out one from Saturday evening was: happy.
Although a man of little words, his songs did all the talking for him: his presence of stage felt from the front of the academy to the back, with confidence pouring out of him. Despite once noting he feels anxious being in front of people, he never appears to show it.
He may be troubled, a little rough around the edges perhaps, but from the very first lyric belted out, until the final chords of set-closer ‘Zombie,’ the sweat-soaked crowd felt the infectious happiness from Jamie T. It was a pleasure to have him back.
This Jamie T review was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo credit : Paul Reynolds – www.behance.net/paul_reynolds