London in the summer

Time for “Sheila”, single number three from Jamie T, and the point where he follows his mate Lily into the pop charts. What better way to celebrate than with a free instore at Pure Groove Records?

Six pm however, and the sums don’t add up – one small record store divided by the large queue down Holloway Road – enough people to fill it three times over. More worryingly I appear to be at the wrong end of it.
Then without warning the queue starts to stride as one away from the shop back towards Archway tube… a collective decision to give up and go home, or could the whole thing be off… only one way to find out. A few moments later, and the queue has deposited itself outside the Archway Tavern – a pub on a traffic island – and sat on a stool ready to hold court is one Jamie T.

Resplendent in shorts and white socks, Jamie looks relaxed and confident, or as someone going by the name of Arthur Dailey on the Jamie T forum put it:

“met Jamie …before the gig, blatantly off his face. I could smell the booze but he was a proper nice guy and genuinely happy I bought his single”

Bladdered or not Jamie was on fine form. There are less agreeable ways to spend a baking hot summer evening than sat outside a north London boozer enjoying free and fantastic music from someone sure to be on many peoples best of 2006 lists (actually he was a few best of 2005’s too).

This pic needs a couple of thought bubbles!

On record Jamie makes the music of a man who listens to a lot of old reggae records, a little Dizzee Rascal but just happens to play the guitar. This is Ska, HipHop, Rock and pop bouncing off each other in the grand tradition of British acts who reflect the multicultural melting pot in their music (see The Specials, Lily Allen, The Streets to name but a few). Some find his occasional bursts of Jamaican patois irritating, but there are far too many ideas and too much energy and enthusiasm in his music to worry about such things. You’ll be too busy dancing and singing along.

As this is an acoustic show there’s no dancing to be seen, but a chance to appreciate the dense lyrical tales of urban life that crown Jamie’s music. This is someone who samples passages of poet John Betjeman’s “The Cockney Amorist” on “Sheila”, and those assembled in Archway are well versed as they mimic the record interrupting the chorus with a bellowed “LONDDOOOON”.

Pure instore

SETLIST (thanks to seaside on the forum):

Bass Guitar
If youve got the money
So lonely was the ballad
Livin with betty
Sheila (lyrics)
Calm down dearest
Back in the game

After the gig Jamie’s happy to hang around signing records and posing for pictures with countless grinning fans. Armed with a box full of C90’s he also dished out Vol.3 of his essential “Panic Prevention” mix series, and I dispensed with taking pictures for a moment to make sure I grabbed myself a copy (Volumes 1 and 2 were very kindly posted out to anyone on his mailing list ). Jamie may be about to be a star but he doesn’t yet behave like one.

Pure instore


My pics of Jamie in the sun at Puregroove’s Archway Tavern openair.

Puregroove have their own photoblog – No Jamie yet but sure pics will be up soon?

BigBird was sat right up the front and took some very nice pics: Bigbird gallery

Joel Crispie must have been sat right next to me as his pics are similar to mine: Crispie Gallery

MP3: Visit Jamie T’s site for a free download of “Do You Have The Time

Jamie T – “So Lonely Was The Ballad

Buy: Jamie T singles for 99p at Piccadilly Records


Four superb YouTube videos of the Archway gig by Charliedavinci – cheers 🙂 – Watch here

Jamie T – “Salvador” (mov)

Turn you head on one side and watch another short video of the Archway gig below (from Puregrooves Myspace):

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