Review of Jamie T Gig at Hackney Empire, London
Jamie T is one of those artists that slowly goes about his business, minimal fuss yet a critics favourite. His ability to deliver an eclectic blend of genres and musical styles is largely the reason behind this support. Now I had never seen Jamie T live before, so I was curious, as to whether he could pull this off in a live performance. The performance was a fundraiser for the Lullaby Trust.
Well as Jamie T entered the stage and announced “we will be playing some weird stuff” it seemed that was intent on attempting the feat at the very least. Jamie T off the back of his third album Carry on the Grudge offered a modicum of maturity. The fact that a comfy seat was placed at the centre of the stage made me worried. Was this maturity progressing to needing a cup of tea and a comfy chair to perform, more Richard Clayderman than contemporary performer. Hard to believe he isn’t even 30 yet.
Whilst this performance from Jamie T never really extended to a head banging, rave out it was an accomplished performance that tested your musical senses. He delivered a number of his back catalogue, including some obscure numbers, beautifully with just him and a guitar. He was also backed on a selection of tracks by an incredible string quartet that played beautifully. The mix of those tracks from older albums that he rarely plays and some acoustic versions of his new material was a surprise and a delight.
There were plenty of highlights in what could be described as an intimate show, almost like your mate grabbing his guitar and playing a few numbers (albeit at the Hackney Empire). There were also a couple of new numbers that received a warm reception. However the biggest reactions were reserved for Calm Down Dearest, an obvious crowd favourite.
The range and breadth of styles was a triumph to a young(ish) performer, who you can tell just loves music and delivering an authentic performance to a genuine crowd. Good performance by Jamie T, that showed his eclectic back catalogue translates to live performances effortlessly as well.