It’s just Jamie T, a couple of guitars and a leather seated stool tearing apart Assai Records.
There was a moment during Jamie T’s concert at the Liquid Rooms that summed him up. He went over to a fan at the front of the barriers. One he told the rest of the crowd had supported him since he was nineteen and been at all his shows in the capital. And he hugged him, earning a rapturous response from the crowd.
He’s a man of the people. They missed Jamie T, popping up on social media during a six year gap between albums asking where he is. Then rejoicing when he announced his comeback. His ramshackle songs of Dickens style characters told in a mixture of poetry, rap and punk resonate with many. That’s why his latest album The Theory Of Whatever went to number one in the charts. And that’s why on the day of his intimate gig in Edinburgh tickets for his show at Finsbury Park next year went on sale.
So it’s easy to see why he’s slightly merry. He’s got a lot to celebrate. He saunters on stage with the footing of a pub crawler in the nearby Cowgate although it looks like he’s got some catching up to do with various folk in attendance.
It really is an intimate show from Assai Records. It’s just Jamie T, a couple of guitars and a leather seated stool that looks like something out of an office in the 1980’s.
No one cares. Not when he frantically tears ‘Brand New Bass Guitar.’ Soon a chant of "Jamie F***in’ T" goes up and the singer laughs that while started north of the border, wherever he plays it’s chanted back at him in a Scottish accent.
He apologies after 'Emily Heart' and 'St Christopher' that he doesn’t have his band with him. 'Talk Is Cheap,’ a reflective ode to regret from his latest album goes down well and stands up next to his older, better known tunes.
‘Sticks n Stones’ is stripped back to its pulsating heart before the chaotic beauty of ‘Zombie’ knocks us all dead. He’s off. Only to return for the encore or ‘Sheila’ where he gets everything chucked back at him. Even the sample. Even the screech of LANDAN. And it all sounds glorious.
Years ago, on another Friday night, I stood in this very venue, hugging one of my mates as the DJ in Evol played this at the criminally early time of about 11pm. It’s one of those tunes that when I hear it I’m transported back to that night. Drinks. Hugs. Laughter. Drinks.
Gerry Cinnamon owes a lot to Jamie T. The one man army. The enigma. The ability to touch a nerve with listeners. But we all do. A chart topping underdog. A common voice for modern life. A talent worth celebrating. Let’s drink to that.