Words by Rachel Grice
Opening with new material “Power Over Men” followed quickly by the faster “Tescoland”, London-born Jamie T takes immediate command of the Brixton stage. Songs from earlier albums like “Salvador” and “Operation” set the mood for the rest of the night: an energetic and at times, quite nostalgic ride.
The pace of the evening takes a surprisingly slower route (contrary to the raucous crowd). “The Prophet” followed by older hits “368” and “A Man’s Machine”, are roared above and beyond the high ceilings of Brixton Academy. Unexpectedly, he doesn’t delve into the more poppy songs from Trick, like “Joan of Arc” or “Robin Hood”. This is unusual as they would certainly be crowd pleasers, but doesn’t detract from his fierce set.
Man of few words, Jamie T praises the venue and audience before blasting into fan favourite, “Shelia” with “screams calling London” eliciting huge approval from his home crowd. Perhaps his most popular track “Stick and Stones” brings us to the encore, the masses keeping up with the fast-paced rap verses as two-pint plastic beer glasses are lobbed from every angle.
We are reintroduced to just the man and his guitar with the acoustic “Back in the Game”, the collective voice of the crowd matching his volume. Ending his rollercoaster of a set list with the massive “Zombie”, Jamie T holds the crowd cheering and screaming before launching into the chorus at a breakneck speed. The volatile crowd erupt into wild moshes, a fitting finale for the troubadour of British indie rap.
While perhaps a little ambitious to do three nights in a row (he’s had to postpone some subsequent shows on doctors orders), Jamie T’s return is triumphant.
The gig demonstrates a thorough nod to his roots, but definitely proves his relevance as a lasing staple of punk hip-hop fusion that has become increasingly popular within the past few years, no thanks to his influence.