Whilst Jamie T’s first album pigeonholed him as a mish mash of Billy Bragg and Mike Skinner, the South London songsmith surprised everyone when he made an impressive leap forward in September with his accomplished and diverse second long player, Kings & Queens.
Preceded by two well received EPs, the album also received critical acclaim and everything seemed to be going perfectly for Treay’s until the singer was struck down with laryngitis and had to cancel an entire sold-out tour. On evidence of tonight’s Academy show Jamie T’s delayed appearance may have bolstered the second album tour as the new songs having had plenty of chance to bed in fans’ ears are received just as raucously as the hits from Panic Prevention.
The first song of the night, ‘The Man’s Machine’ sets the tone for the rest of the night. As the song kicks in a pint of beer is hurled on stage. Far from a Morrisey-esque reaction by walking off stage Jamie T encourages the fans to throw ‘whatever they’ve got’ onstage. The rowdy Wednesday night crowd rise to the task and for the duration of the hour long set every song was accompanied with half full pints showering the band on stage.
Wired with energy, Treays stomps and slides all over the beer soaked stage while shouting out lyrics to sing-along anthems like ‘368’. In a live setting some of the songs are delivered quite differently to the studio format’s, ‘Pacemaker’ and EP track ‘Man Not A Monster’ are delivered in frenetic fashion and often the funk and melody of the songs are sacrificed for a more fast paced punk-pop delivery.
Tonight’s young boisterous crowd however are hanging on to every word from the South London singer. From ballad ‘Emily’s Heart’ to old favourites ‘Sheila’ and ‘If You’ve Got the Money’. The gig ends with ‘Sticks and Stones’ with the band matching the crowd’s enthusiastic efforts so that by the end of the evening, both crowd and band leave drenched in beer and sweat’¦always a sign of a good gig I guess.
Photos by Sean Conroy.