Earlier this year saw the release of Jamie T’s first album in just over five years, ‘Carry on the Grudge’, a far more mature and sophisticated record than the two that preceded it. Gone were the tales of underage drinking and nights out, replaced by more emotionally driven songs focusing on anger and heartbreak. So, you’d be quite forgiven for thinking his live shows would follow suit and expel the rebellious side of Jamie T that so many people loved. Thankfully this isn’t the case.
He began with a small selection of tracks from his latest album, the highlight of which was ‘Limits Lie’ a song that converted the atmosphere of the intimate Barrowlands Ballroom into something far more eerie than it had been mere seconds before. And just at the point where the crowd was feeling quite content with the change in atmosphere compared to past gigs, he brings out Operation from debut album Panic Prevention. The energy within every crowd member upon hearing the opening chords is unparalleled, as they scream word perfect every line back to the now grinning Jamie T.
Eager to bring back the liveliness his shows are known for, Jamie coaxes the crowd to take it even further simply stating “This ain’t the Glasgow I remember” and they definitely did. With every song his performances became more elaborate and wild, with the crowd following suit as everyone surged towards the stage eager for his attention. It was a night that got progressively better, starting off good but ending up incredible.
However, to say there were no negatives would be a lie. ‘Emily’s Heart’ taken from his second album ‘Kings & Queens’ saw a botched beginning due to his acoustic guitar being out of tune, yet even with this sorted failed to impress. It may have just been an issue of placement within the set however, for you can’t help feel perhaps a solo acoustic performance of his most slow and soulful song to date would have gone down better with a more subdued crowd. Like the one present at the beginning of the set.
But, this was only one very minor setback and soon he was back on top form just in time for rousing performances of ‘The Man’s Machine’ and ‘If You Got the Money’ to bring his set to a close. Both had the crowd going frantic with appreciation, but neither come close to the unanimous reaction of unadulterated joy that was transmitted upon the opening lines of “Sheila”. He closes his set on two classics following this ‘Zombie’, a standout from his latest record that interestingly gets just as much love from crowd members than some of his classic work, and “Sticks’N’Stones” from his second LP, which leaves most of the crowd bruised and tired but with an enormous feeling of satisfaction.
Overall, an absolutely incredible concert, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another five years to see another one from him.