jamie t @ the 02 academy, glasgow
by Miriam Rodero
It had been a long time since I'd been to Glasgow's O2 Academy, but the memories were fond. As I approached the venue one typically rainy and miserable Glasgow night, I began to recall some of my previous trips there during my adolescence: underage drinking behind the building before seeing The Vaccines, moshing unsuccessfully to Miles Kane, and finally being able to legally buy my own pint at Jake Bugg. Maybe my taste in music has changed since then, but in some way, this venue had played an important part in my coming of age. It seemed only fitting then, that my comeback to the venue involved seeing one of the key figures in my teenage discovery of the noughties' British music scene – Jamie T.
The now 30-year-old Londoner – full name Jamie Treays – has also recently made a comeback of sorts. The singer-songwriter broke a 5-year long silence in September 2014 with the release of his third studio album “Carry On The Grudge”, which although positively received, displayed a much darker – maybe unexpected – side to Treays compared to the youthful dynamism of his first two albums.
Now, however, Treays is touring his fourth studio album “Trick” (released in September of this year), and it seems that he has finally achieved what we'd expect from his glorious, long-awaited return. Amalgamating an obvious maturity with the quick enthusiasm that we all know Jamie T for, it’s easy to see why the singer-songwriter has recently claimed to feel at his best in six years.
The set opened with tracks Power Over Men and Tescoland from the latest album, before moving on to older classics such as Operation, Salvador and 368. As Treays energetically moved his way through an eclectic and assorted set list which pleased the varied age-range of the crowd, two things became apparent: firstly, that his new songs were received which just as much excitement and fervour as his older ones (bar a few exceptions); and secondly, that the singer was there to acknowledge his old music just as much as he was there to promote “Tricks.”
It’s rare that an artist manages to get a whole crowd moving. And especially when the average age of that crowd is considerably older than the typical teenage mosher. But as I stood at the top of the stairs finishing my beer before heading into the masses, I gazed down in astonishment. The whole standing area – front to back, and left to right – was jumping and dancing about chaotically. The frenzy continued throughout the whole gig and intensified during Sheila and Stick ‘N’ Stones, as beer was thrown about the crowd and people of every age attempted to breathlessly holler along to every word.
Despite his mature, polished look (a suave red shirt and black skinny jeans), Treays did not fail to bounce up and down energetically with the crowd, grinning cheekily to chants of “Jamie, Jamie, Jamie fucking T!”. At times, it was as if the 30-year-old disappeared and was replaced by what appeared to be a bold teenager wearing his dad’s clothes, egging on the crowd and making us all feel like rowdy adolescents.
With an artist like Jamie T, it’s often difficult to know what the best song to leave till last is. Treays graced us with a single-track encore (because sometimes less is more) and astutely went back – but not too far back – in time to Zombie, provoking and animating the crowd one last time for a riotous indie-rock finale.
Gigging in Glasgow always leaves you with an almost indefinable mix of awe and bewilderment: is it the crowds or the artist that make it such an incomparable experience? On this occasion, it was both. Above all, Treays reminded us that a return back to our teen selves is possible, easy, and even quite fun – no matter how much you may be feeling like a 'sad, sad post teen'.