Jamie T - 2 Nights of....In London

Part 1
The Camden Barfly gig was a live transmission on X fm Xposure. John Kennedy, the host of the show, stepped up and introduced the first the act to play: Jack Penate. I’ve seen this man at the Barfly before, he got everyone jigging and dancing with his up beat, Jonathan Richmond-style sounds and his groovy shuffle dance moves. This time he claimed to be nervous because of being broadcasted live across London, but it didn’t show, he really got a party going amongst the crowd.

Next up came a six-piece favourite of x fm: Louie. This band was extraordinary, its line up included two guitarists and two insane vocalists. In the first few minutes of their set I wasn’t feeling anything from them, as I am quite cynical about bands that I have never seen or heard before, but with each song they grew on me and just got better and better. The singers used the fact that there were two of them as an advantage, while one would sing the other would jump into the crowd and become one of them for a bit, though at the end they pulled out all the stops, both ran in and created a whirl of hype.

Finally the headliner, the one who everybody screamed so much for, that poor John Kennedy could hardly introduce: Jamie T. At last year’s Xposure all he had was an acoustic bass guitar, but this time he had a full band of funny characters, that included a rock n’ roll guitarist with long hair, a leather jacket and a Guns n’ Roses t-shirt and a mysterious old guy at the keyboards with a cap, a hood and a pair of sunglasses. He kicked off, maybe out of tradition, on his own with his acoustic bass, playing ‘Calm Down Dearest’. Straight after, he put on his three-stringed fender telecaster and went into full band music. Throughout the set, he alternated between telecaster, just vocals and acoustic bass again just before the end, while keeping the sometimes funky, sometimes reggae, sometimes all out raving vibes going, especially in ‘Ike and Tina’, ‘If You Got The Money’, ‘Northern Line’, ‘Back in The Game’ and most importantly, the finisher, ‘Sheila’.


Part 2
The next night’s setting was the Scala, a club with a stage surrounded by balconies, with the stalls in the middle. Last night I was right at the front, looking up at the man, in a pack of sweaty drunks. This time I was looking at Jamie T from a different viewpoint, the top balcony, in a calmer state. I watched him go through an almost identical set to last night, until at the end when something completely different happened: Jamie T came out for an encore. He played what really made the night for me; a cover of Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’ on acoustic bass and after that, ‘Brand New Bass Guitar’, still on acoustic, but with the whole band.

It was a fantastic two nighter, including the morning aftermath of the Barfly: chatting with Jack Penate, listening to John Kennedy’s DJ set and spending the early hours of the morning, looking for somewhere to sleep while putting up Jamie T stickers everywhere.

Will Slater

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