Review – Jamie T at Brixton Academy (8/10/16)

Words by Maisie Amos 

There are few artists that are as distinctive as Jamie T. Since his emergence in 2006 and his debut album ‘panic prevention’ a year later, his observations of troubled youths and lairy lads set the base of his rap-punk hybrid that merges artists such as the Beastie Boys and The Clash.

His highly anticipated return came earlier this year with his critically acclaimed fourth album ‘Trick’, and with this came a European Tour. Not seeing Jamie T live before, I wasn’t all sure what to expect, you hear rumours of what a boisterous performer he is and how the crowd ignite an atmosphere like none other. All these rumours were proved to be true.

Arriving at the notorious Brixton Academy the artist’s army of fans were apparent due to the range of ages there exemplifying how Jamie T has stood the test of time, even against Britain’s emerging new artists such as the likes of Slaves. Excitement brewed in the air as the venue slowing started to fill the ‘sold out’ show. The seemingly grateful support acts Wytches had successfully managed to prep the originally awkward crowd into an increasingly tense crowd waiting for Jamie’s London return.

Roughly about an hour later, all went dark and the crowd roared as they anticipated what was about to happen. His band came on first and then he stepped out. From over 10 years of experience he knew how to treat a crowd. Waltzing in with his leather jacket and guitar strapped round him, before he even spoke, he launched straight into a track off of his new album Power Over Men, quickly followed by the electric Tescoland. Even two songs in, the whole crowd was one wave, being pushed and shoved around in every possible direction.

The crowd didn’t rest the whole night, whether it be a boisterous anthem or a gloomy ballad. Me and my friend were amazed as to the extent of his talent, I really appreciated his unique voice which is incomparable to anyone, as well as the fact I forgot as to how many tunes he has.

An obvious belter was Sheila, the crowd knew every lyric and he didn’t even need to try and sing as the packed venue did it for him, he even dedicated it to the mass of people as Brixton is apparently his favourite venue. He chased around the stage, full of energy, ensuring he had familiarised himself with the entire crowd,

The ability to control and mesmerize an audience was apparent throughout. Through songs such as Tinfoil Boy and Rabbit Hole, where he left gaps which seemed to go on for hours before he dropped the chorus, perhaps giving time for the crowd to make a circle for a mosh, or signifying his long awaited return, either way it made the mass of people merge into one frenzy.

Another highlight to my night was his acoustic moments, where it was solely him on his guitar, with no band and no flashy extras, just him, managing the crowd to get a little emotional and fragile. By doing this, not only did he give the crowd a little break but just exemplified the talent this London boy has.

He followed these moments with his most known songs, feverously pumping up the crowd with Sticks’n’stones, everyone fully embraced his accent and even I found myself talking in a traditional London voice. He also dramatically left the stage, came back on and finished the already withered crowd with an encore of Zombie where me and my friend ended up dancing with a circle of people we had never met before, ultimately highlighting the communal atmosphere felt that night by all.

For an indie scamp rapper he sure knew how to ruin a crowd, I didn’t see many men without a top off nor did I see anyone leave without mangled beer scented hair and drowning in sweat. The night was over too quickly, and Jamie T exceeded any expectation that I had, being battered and bruised just enhanced the experience.

This review was written by Maisie Amos, follow her on twitter here.

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