After struggling out the door to see Dappled Cities, a friend’s text mentioned another hardly filled room with talent worth scoping; Wimbledon’s Jamie T was playing one last US show, at Mercury Lounge. You guys buying into the Brit buzz on Jamie? We did our due diligence and listened a few months ago when he started making massive NME waves; first impression was that he was part of the new, sharp-witted chav breed of troubadours — part Alex Turner, part Mike Skinner. Then we shelved Panic Prevention for a few months ’cause there’s been so much US band hyping to do, and you know how we love hyping.
Some friends saw Jamie Treays in Austin and mentioned he was much-more-melodic and much-less-rap than they’d expected — but they saw him with full band and before a week in Texas had worn him thin. The set at Merc was brief (something like 25 minutes) and solo, Jamie on a stool with his not so “Brand New Bass Guitar.” Not having a band to dress up the tunes shone a spotlight on Jamie’s inner-Skinner, but the abbreviated (and tune-tweaking) set was more notable, for us, for the room’s adoration of him and for his off-the-wall charm. And he’s funny. And tunes like “Sheila” and “So Lonely Was The Ballad” have hooks, sure — but for us, never having been floored by the record, something about his style sounds best in the flesh.
So how will he fare here? Always the question, innit. Somewhere between the success of Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys, there’ll be Jamie T. We’ll see him — in a much more filled venue, with some friends on stage — next time around. Check some tunes at his site and at Myspace.com/jamietwimbledon.