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4th December 2022

Live Review: Jamie T at Victoria Warehouse

Jamie T returns to Manchester with a mediocre set but a smattering of bangers in the encore
Live Review: Jamie T at Victoria Warehouse
Photo: Dan Knight @ The Mancunion

Jamie T has a bit of a reputation. Solid mid-00s Indie music with a bit of old-school Cockney thrown in to give it some edge. You hear at least one of ‘Sheila’, ‘Zombie’, or ‘Sticks & Stones’ on every indie club night you ever visit. He’s an artist who, whilst never hitting massive heights like his early stuff suggested, (similar to your other guitar-wielding, Jake Bugg-style fellas), never ended up dropping any awful music – nothing he released was Streets in the Sky or Konk levels of trash indie at all.

He dropped an album, The Theory of Whatever, in the summer which received rave reviews, including from The Mancunion itself, where Alex Cooper described it as having “Festival-ready anthems, thoughtfully interspersed with more gentle ones, and a sonic expansion which keeps the album engaging and cohesive.” I think this probably proves that Jamie T isn’t as washed up and finished like many of his counterparts from the indie landfill generation that graced the noughties, the ones you can find sharing the bill at random festivals with the musical equivalents of Football Manager regens.

Being told before the gig that so far on the tour, the aforementioned three songs had made up the encore didn’t exactly fill me with confidence – I’m not slagging off Jamie T at all here (yet), it’s more that I thought it’d be nice to sprinkle the hits throughout rather than saving them for the end. However, walking in, there was a real sense of excitement. It was absolutely rammed trying to get towards the stage area (though this may also to be to do with the horrendous design of Victoria Warehouse as a venue), and he got a really good reception from the crowd as he came out.

The set itself was pretty solid. As you’d expect, the songs were all pretty same-y, which is just the way his style goes in all fairness. The stand-out tracks of the main section were probably ‘Salvador’ and ‘If You Got the Money’. Both tracks were done justice with really good quality renditions. Some of songs fell slightly flat, but that is probably to be expected with an artist who doesn’t necessarily have as popular a back catalogue as some of his contemporaries.

The encore was brilliant – all three tracks sounded just as good as they did recorded, and the crowd absolutely loved every second. The highlight was definitely ‘Zombie’, with the ending being dragged out for ages to get a proper bit of crowd movement going. Contrary to what I thought pre-gig, it turned out saving the best until last was a genius move – it gave him three songs of non-stop atmosphere and attention from the audience, me included.

The real issue with this gig wasn’t the quality really – Jamie T is clearly a good showman and still has a good voice. The problem is the lyrical content of the music, and how it contrasts with his background. A lot of his music, certainly some of his biggest hits, revolve around issues surrounding working-class, underprivileged people in London and the South East. And yet, if you look into who he actually is, it doesn’t make sense. Jamie T went to a private boarding school in Surrey – it’s hardly Oliver Twist stuff is it?

For all the genuinely working-class artists making music about their lives, it must be a kick in the teeth to hear someone who hasn’t truly lived that way singing about your life (and admittedly doing it very well at times). Privately educated young adults spending their 20s cosplaying as salt-of the earth commoners – it’s all very Fallowfield isn’t it?


Keep up with the latest news from Jamie T on his official website here.

Dan Knight

Dan Knight

Self-proclaimed music expert from Sheffield, articles may contain North/South bias.

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