Saturday, December 30, 2006
Jamie T @ The 12 Bar Club, 27 December
Jamie T has played the 12 Bar Club before. Early in the year, I think, under the banner of his Panic Prevention Disco. Tonight he’s reprising it for what surely must be the last time. Popular though he was before, the previous nights couldn’t have been as rammed as this one. And they probably didn’t have someone on the stairs telling anyone who dared to go upstairs that it was “reserved for Jamie’s guests”. Mind you, with Jamie sitting down on the tiny stage for his solo acoustic set, he would only have been visible to those at the very front of the balcony, craning their necks for a view. Some consolation then.
Downstairs, it's rammed to bursting point with 100 or more people all trying to get into a stamp-sized performance space. The result is less of a Jamie T gig, and more an experience of the Jamie T phenomenon. The 12 Bar doesn’t exactly have much of a sound system, so his vocals and acoustic bass plucking is often almost drowned out by the loudly singing teenage fans.
Right from the start, as he launched into If You Got the Money, the sing-along started. And then all the way through his short half hour set, through all the unreleased songs the kids have got off the internet, to the climax with Sheila. No backing vocals are required here. They all knew where to sing. “London!” they all scream at the right bits.
Where discernable, his lyrics are as witty and interesting as expected. His quickfire delivery is still exciting, and his use of bass as his instrument of choice shows that he’s as much interested in rhythm as melody. The songs are sharp and crisp, and stripped down in acoustic form they shine as much, and in some cases more, than the recorded versions. The lad’s got talent for sure. With the help of these adoring fans, we’ll watch him really take off next year, especially when he releases his debut album Panic Prevention. He’s already sold out the almost 2000 capacity Astoria round the corner on 24 January. That’ll be a crush downstairs as well, no doubt.
Download: Jamie T – Sheila
Download: Jamie T – Salvador
Pre-order Panic Prevention.
Check out more of my gig photos at my Flickr photostream.
For some Jamie T live tracks, see my previous post.