Review: Jamie T
Rob GarrattJamie Treays walked on stage to showers of applause, catcalls and chants from a sold-out crowd where the average age was well below his 24 years.
Jamie Treays walked on stage to showers of applause, catcalls and chants from a sold-out crowd where the average age was well below his 24 years.
Donned in a plain black shirt with swept back, jet black hair he appeared to be deliberately mimicking a man he is consistently compared to; Clash frontman Joe Strummer.
The audience hung on the rapper-come-punk's every word, and he didn't disappoint them; working the crowd like it was a stadium, the UEA's stage could barely contain Treays as he youthfully pogo-ed around like a kid on Christmas Day.
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The thronging mass of Jamie-crazed fans united to singalong with his unlikely anthems of twenty something London life as seen between swigs of a lager can. His latest single, The Man Machine, saw the europhic swarm united in yelling the upliftingly existential refrain 'Stone, glass, concrete and gravel; are all we got to keep us together.'
Elsewhere 368, opener of last year's LP (his second) Kings & Queens, was given a full hip hop treatment by backing band the Pacemakers in tribute to the evening's support act, and acknowledged influence of Treays, Chester P, one half of hip hop duo Task Force.
Jamie's 'urban bard' credentials were solidified with acoustic ballad Emily's Heart, while Back In The Game - played solo and silhouetted on the stage with just an acoustic bass - cemented his star appeal.
A throwaway line from Spider's Web saw the crowd comically yelling 'Obama sounds like Osama to me' in unison, a sea of camera phones were pulled out for early hit Shelia, from his 2007debut Panic Prevention, while everyone knew every word of set closer If You Got The Money.
The encore - a double whammy of last year's singles Sticks n' Stones and Chaka Demus - brought the crowd to simmering point.
Jamie T has grown up since his last tour, his music layered with heavier grooves and with a more melodic/less chaotic feel.
But it was the rhymes the UEA crowd were in attendance for - witting, homespun vignettes of heartbreaking and comical proportions - and they sung them back at Jamie louder than the kid from Wimbledon would ever have dreamt of just four years ago.
t Photo: www.flickr.com/farmdog