Ten minutes before the doors opened at seven, the queue for Jamie-T’s Sunday concert went around the street and more, as crowds of people arrived in what seemed to be the hundreds to the O2. The area filled up to the brink by the time the sold-out show started, and as everyone could have anticipated the audience went mad when Jamie walked on stage. Although his opening act — a band named The Wytches — were a bit bizarre, and after a while their screaming got tiresome (but my judgement may have been blurred for my anticipation to see the main act), Jamie-T made up for it with his wild energy and amazing stage presence.
I hadn’t actually listened to the entire new album Trick, as I wanted to leave the element of surprise for at least some of it, and I must admit I wasn’t disappointed. “Tinfoil Boy” was far better live then in the debut video released as a teaser for the album launch, which I found somewhat underwhelming. New songs like “Joan of Arc”, “Power Over Men”, and “Drone Strike” will surely become Jamie-T classics, like “Zombie” and “Sheila” (to name a few). As he sang, he continued to remind the audience of how happy he was to be playing at the O2, jumping back and forth between the stage, pointing at people and turning his microphone to the crowd for the most popular songs. If it weren’t for the incessant moshing in the standing area, I would have been in paradise. I have seldom witnessed such intense and aggressive behavior during an indie rock concert; I was in the front row (to better idolize the demi-God) and was constantly pushed and plummeted about by rowdy men who kept taking their shirts off and tackling one another for the entire concert. Makes me wonder if they were actually there to enjoy Jamie-T or if they spent money to wrestle each other to a good tune.
Besides them, I found Jamie to be just as marvelous live as he is in the studio, particularly when he sang older songs such as “If You Got The Money” and “Rabbit Hole,” truly rendering him, in my opinion, the ‘one man Arctic Monkey’ he was pumped up to be. Unfortunately, Jamie-T fell ill after that gig and was unable to perform on his last day at the O2, on Monday, which is sad, yet makes me feel relieved I was able to catch a show. Our Theatre Editor, Miles, is still wallowing in self-pity about not being able to see him.