Jamie T - Live Review
with support from New York Howl
(29/04/07, The Ritz Manchester)
Lounge/soul back ground music creates a relaxed Sunday Night feel until it is suddenly sent crashing into next week. Being unceremoniously interrupted by a percussion rattle that is so pronounced, it has the impact of a solo, marking the entrance of New York Howl. Art punk is produced with gusto, as Baritone Saxophonist, Stefan Zeniuk possesses the energy of a Ska man and the rhythm of a Jazz player (albeit ten times faster than normal jazz). His animated tootlin' brings extra oomph to the bluesy tirade of 'Time Machine'.
At times, this Andrew Katz fronted and Mr Anti-Folk himself; Brer Brian containing outfit, forms a battering ram of Blanche, Ottis Redding, Jerry Fish And The Mudbug Club and Th' Legendery Shack Shakers. A one guitar approach makes the cacophony of percussion, keyboard and Saxophone noise gain momentum and often each instrument produces its own song within a song. A growing crowd and growing appreciation, sees the thirty minutes pass in no time and a hunger is starting to rumble around for more of this discordant mutation of punk.
This venue has seen one of the most unlikely occurrences in modern day indie, you wouldn't believe it, but two years ago an Arctic Monkeys' set was punctuated with boos when they supported The Coral. Therefore, it is hard not to fear that the same fate could become of this sound merger of da Arctic Monkeys with Bromheads Jacket and Skinnyman that makes up Jamie T. These apprehensions are swiftly allayed, as soon as he and his quartet of unimposing musicians fire out the brazen post-mod speckled 'Brand New Bass Guitar', from the boisterous debut album, 'Panic Prevention'. This is all that the soccer fan element of the crowd needs to rambunctiously release into spasms of beer throwing and leery leaping. The Thames-beats-master harnesses this energy to promote the lyrical lash at self-centred Sally's, through 'Operation'. Jamie-T's high profile, sharp, dialogue driven vocals soar out like a warning flare and are soon joined by slightly off-pace crowd cries. Although, it is difficult to keep up with the cherub-esque battle crier and he soon gets into full strut and stride.
"Are you ready? Hey, you two at the back dancing like pill-heads, are you ready?"
This, as much as anything gives a great indication as to the lively nature of the evening and the perceptiveness of the performer. 'Back In The Game' provides that catchy chorus to sing along to that every gig has to have, these days. However, it is the mellower non-album stoop of 'Back To Mine For Moonshine' which captures attention for its heartening kick, melody laden and colourful backdrop that could easily have made it a hidden track on The Streets 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' album. With many modern bands showing that maybe their debut album has been released a bit to soon. Often touring and producing a bunch of blink- and-you-miss-em thirty minute sets, tonight, seventy minutes goes by with endearing ease. Jamie T was ready for this and so were the 1,000 revellers.
"See ya later Alligator, is Jamie-T's message to modern bands who believe that just because they only have one album out; it gives them the right to produce a robotic thirty minute set."