It was a quiet Tuesday night on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, only a few people were queuing in from of the secret entrance to the Mojo Club to see the live return of the English singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/rapper/performer Jamie T. The man from Wimbledon had had to reschedule his European tour due to illness, which had fuelled the anticipation for his comeback after a 4-year pause. But before we could get the pleasure of seeing Jamie T perform his new material with his new band, the support band Palace took the stage. The quartet played soft indie tunes with a light blues touch in their guitar melodies. The singer/guitarist had a very pleasant voice and skilled fingers that blindly knew their way across the guitar. The band thanked Jamie T for taking them on tour, it was their second time touring Europe, and promised the crowd a wild set, sounding like big Jamie T fans themselves. As it turned out the singer of Palace hadn’t promised too much. Jamie T and his four bandmates took the stage and opened their set with the opener of the new album “Limits Lie” followed by the first single of the same album “Don’t you find”. Both songs are intense but slow burners and the crowd waited hesitantly. Jamie T didn’t let it affect him and performed his songs whole-heartedly. I noticed that Jamie never really faced the crowd, he rather stood sideways facing his bandmates. He seemed to be in a good mood though and chatted with the crowd in between the songs. He even acknowledged the guests on the balcony or as Jamie called it “posh seats”.
With the third song Jamie fulfilled the crowd’s secret wish and played a song off his first album. The band bolted energetically through “Operation”, which heated up the crowd. The back-up vocals really pushed the song. After that it was time for another two songs from his new album “Carry on the grudge”. Jamie T played the dark, twisted “Peter” and then thanked the crowd for being so patient with him, first with his general absence and then the rescheduling of the concert, and played the melancholic but also uplifting “Turn on the light”. In between songs Jamie switched between electric and acoustic guitar. After the quiet ballad, the band played “Salvador” which got the crowd on their feet immediately. They kept up the pace with “British Intelligence” from Jamie T’s second album “Kings & Queens”, released in 2009. In between songs the surprisingly chatty and fit looking Jamie took off his sweatshirt and happily talked to the crowd. It was an unusual sight seeing him without his cap and sambas, dressed in a smart shirt and very fancy shoes and red socks instead. He continued his set with a personal favourite of mine, “The Prophet” before he played his hit “Sheila” from his first album, which was definitely a highlight as he hadn’t played it in either Bristol or Berlin the night before. He even ditched the guitar for this one and rapped the song, even kneeling down and having contact with the crowd. I can’t point out often enough how cheery and energetic Jamie was, it was truly contagious. The next songs he played were “Rabbit Hole” and “Emily’s Heart”, for which the band left the stage for their frontman to perform the song sitting on a stool. The song sounded perfect even though Jamie claimed in the past eight years he has never played it without making mistakes.
He ended his regular set with “368” and “If you got the money”, which left the crowd hungry for more. After a short break the band returned and played the absolute smashers “Zombie” and “Sticks’n’Stones”. I think everyone agrees that the gig was over way too soon. It’s really good to have Jamie T back, seeing him enjoying himself on stage and I hope he will be back soon.