Jac Bond 20/10/2006
Last Friday evening was bitter, cold and wet so I was glad to be in the warm, and somewhat snug, surroundings of Cardiff's Barfly to witness Jamie T as part of his 'Money, Money, Money Tour,' to launch the T's latest cerebral release 'If You Got The Money' (out now). Taking to the small stage with a big, arrogant, but nevertheless worthy, stance he proceeded to spurt lines in his standard cockney patois style that much of the appreciative crowd loved and knew well. While he bumped out tracks such as the satirical 'Salvador' (debut single from the Betty And The Selfish Sons EP, Virgin) and the phenomenal 'Alicia Keys' (as yet not released, but hopefully to appear on the forthcoming album - 'White Socks Black Shoes') it cemented the fact that this artist really can interact with his crowd in a way that makes you dance, and at the same time, think. In his performance he brought feelings of highest elation - from the hyped-up frenzy 'Do You Have The Time,' to a down-beat poignant lull - a consequence on hearing the soon-to-be classic 'Calm Down Dearest', rumoured to be released 8th January. This songsmith can effortlessly evoke to his audience these feelings, as the T's presence on stage is one of sit-up-and-listen; his music is more real than a stab to the face - but in a nice way.
Seeing Jamie perform in Spiller's Records, prior to the Barfly gig, I knew the man had a vocal talent that supersedes having a band. But, with a backing, the tunes carry style that screams energy and brings added life to tracks which previously were performed live by simply Jamie and his bass guitar. With this support the music moved at a faster pace giving them more of an Indie-Rock feel that wasn't previously felt minus the band. Live performances of tracks such as 'Sheila,' a short tale of two Laaahndaners' boozed-fuelled misery, is very different from the single released back in July. Where as the track previously had an alternative Hip Hop feel, with sluggish programmed bass beats, on stage the style was punk-spilled rhymes over similar fluid rhythms on lead and bass guitar. Both styles are quality to listen to and It makes me wonder when Mr. T releases his long awaited album will he provide both band versions and originals?
His pumped-up performance served only to reinforce my belief that there aren't many artists (if any) that have the originality, vigour and style that this man has. The eclectic mix of music genres like Acoustic, Indie, Punk, Reggae and Drum n Bass promotes rumbling liveliness in beats, chords and urban lyrical chats. It paves the way for a new sound emerging in a time when people thought pretty much everything had been done before. Now is the time when people can really appreciate Jamie's tunes where there is no music divide, and genres blur, to produce startlingly new music that perhaps wouldn't have been appreciated a few years ago.
What does the 'T' stand for in Jamie T? I'd have to say 'the shit'.
According to his website, Jamie T releases his album 'White Socks Black Shoes' through Virgin on January 22.