Review: ‘All thriller, no filler’: Jamie T Debuts in Boston, September 12, 2007* - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-23-2007, 09:58 PM   #1
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Review: ‘All thriller, no filler’: Jamie T Debuts in Boston, September 12, 2007*

By Kimberly Egolf, Editor

“We’ve been in Boston for two days now, and we fuckin’ love it!” announced Jamie Treays to the September 12th crowd assembled at Boston’s Great Scott.

Sporting an upturned Red Sox cap atop a mop of messy hair, Jamie T – Treays’ stage moniker –flashed a lopsided and mischievous smile before literally launching himself into his first song.

Propelled by the heavy bass beat of album track “Pacemaker,” Jamie leapt off the stage and into the midst of the expectant audience. Heavily-accented and half-intelligible lyrics spilled from his mouth as he bounced energetically around the floor.

The fact that no one really knew what the hell he was singing didn’t detract from the enjoyment of these first moments with an exciting emerging artist and showman.

The UK has been enjoying Jamie T since the January release of his debut album Panic Prevention, a highly-praised record which draws heavily on the sights and sounds of Jamie’s suburban South London upbringing. The story of the title goes as such: Jamie used to suffer from panic attacks. To soothe him, his mother would make mixtapes stuffed with notably kitschy tunes. Feigning disdain at the time, Jamie has since come to love the random mixture of sounds that can be assembled in such a compilation.

In fact, it’s a technique he employed to cobble together his album. Using the bare minimum of instrumentation – acoustic bass and guitar and an old Casio keyboard – Jamie crafted an album of original songs and hooky riffs which has propelled him to fame and earned him favorable comparisons to the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, and The Streets. Indeed, over the past year, Jamie T has been conquering hearts and charts in the UK, even bagging NME’s award for Best Solo Artist 2007 and earning himself a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize – the UK’s most distinguished award for songwriting.

(Photo credit: Derrick Santini)

And now Jamie T and his tape deck are hitting the US for a string of debut dates.

Supported by his band The Pacemakers (who also happen to be his best friends), Jamie T has spent his time in the country wowing audiences with his frenetic and exciting shows. The Wednesday night audience at Boston’s Great Scott was certainly impressed with Jamie’s energy and personality. After the rousing “Pacemaker” literally launched the set, Jamie raced through album tracks “Ike & Tina” – which “goes out to Tina…and definitely not out to Ike” – and “Operation” – dedicated to Smooth, the band’s randy bus driver.

Continuing with the odd dedications, the next song went out to the cheap beer PBR. As Jamie quietly started strumming the choppy and spare guitar riff of his hit single “If You Got the Money,” it became apparent that there were some very dedicated fans in the audience. One fan standing close to the stage even got a chance to make his concert debut when Jamie pointed the microphone right at him and invited him to sing the song. While most of the crowd couldn’t master the slangy lyrics of the verses, they did all join in a fun chant of “Money, money, money” as Jamie grinned at them from the stage.

(Photo credit: Kimberly Egolf)

There were many such moments throughout the evening. Moments in which it didn’t matter if you could understand the lyrics, you were still invited to the party. Indeed, Jamie’s accent and slang are part of his charm, but also, perhaps, his curse. His heavy use of peculiarly English slang can make his songs difficult to penetrate lyrically for American audiences. But there is no misunderstanding the unique mixture of pop, punk, and hip-hop which underlies Jamie’s tales of adolescent suburban hijinks. Tales which take up grand themes of love and life.

None more so than the pulsing “Dry Off Your Cheeks.” In concert, the song became an epic tale of love, loss, and self-discovery wrapped up in a hooky and tripping rhythm. As Jamie’s weathered and cracking voice screamed out the chorus – “My old heart, it’s been thirteen hours. Too much of you my friend, my dear and now I cower” – the singer was literally cowering on the stage floor with his back to the audience.

It’s not only the impressive energy with which he performs, but also the singer’s empathy for his characters that makes it so easy and enjoyable to watch him. Slices of 21st century adolescent life reflect and connect audience and singer alike.

The UK has already connected in a big way with Jamie T. And though he’s now playing smaller clubs in the US, his showmanship and his smashing tunes destine him for much, much bigger things. In his own words: It starts off small but it’s gonna get bigger.

For tour dates and information about Jamie T, please visit his official website at

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Old 09-23-2007, 11:15 PM   #2
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the use of the f-word.

Hate to whine on and on endlessly about seemingly insignificant b.s. -but- it-really-isn't-:-p
I don't think it was wise or helpful to include the F-word in your bylines and it irritates me. You ought to give into common decency and complete relevancy by caring for the common folk who DON'T CARE for obscene gestures and the postulating of said descriptions. Thanks.

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Old 09-24-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:22 AM   #4
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Love Jamie T, glad to hear he's finally getting some recognition in the states, cause he isnt gettin enough over here (the UK).
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