Jamie T - Great Hall, Cardiff
Wimbledon-born Jamie T has been hailed as an indie icon since his pivotal 2007 debut, Panic Prevention, almost a decade later he's touring his fourth studio album, Trick, a mature record that reflects those nine years of experimentation and growth. The album received fairly little media coverage on release and it could be easy to let Jamie T slip under the radar - unless, of course, you were one of the fervent fans in attendance of the sold-out Cardiff show. The night began with an opening set from The Wytches, an interesting three-piece who recently released their second album. The group's dark, psychedelic rock held a slight monotony but nonetheless captured the attention of the audience which seemed to already harbour a collection of enthusiastic Wytches fans.
Jamie T's versatility is an essential part of his work, over the years he's been linked to many diverse genres and influences - whilst being primarily labelled as a mix of indie and hip-hop. His earliest work relied on ska-infused guitars; a heavy accent and a social commentary very similar to The Streets' Mike Skinner; this style can still be found in new songs like 'Joan of Arc' and 'Robin Hood' but generally T's new music is far more sombre. A tone of melancholy is present in most of his recent work, the first single from Trick, 'Tinfoil Boy', has an almost perturbing heaviness - it still however earns a loud and mobile response from the crowd. The success of this versatility is demonstrated best in the encore, it starts with an acoustic rendition of the slow ballad 'Back In The Game' - a poignant song highlighting the Londoner's vocals - and ends with the 2014 hit 'Zombie' - a quick-paced tune that has the audience bouncing in seconds.
The crowd are relentlessly enthusiastic, a chant of their idol's name is repeated throughout the whole set, every song has its lyrics screamed back by the varied audience ranging from drunk teenage boys to middle-aged women. However it's unmissable how much more intense the reaction is for those very first hits, the first album includes a plethora of anthems that when played receive a euphoric crowd response. Towards the end the most renowned song of all, 'Sheila', begins to play and immediately the crowd are sent into a frenzy, fans hoisted onto shoulders as "Sheila goes out with her mate Stella" is belted out by every single person. If at some point Jamie T's new creations begin to take a turn for the worst, he can always rely on these old favourites to keep the crowds coming.