Jamie T plays rarities and new material at special unplugged show in London

The singer-songwriter's intimate show took place last night (June 12) at Hackney Empire

Jamie T played a special show last night at London’s Hackney Empire, where he played a host of rarities, deep cuts, previously unheard and new material.

Opening up the unplugged show, the singer-songwriter was in a chatty mood, and commented: “As you may have noticed from the flyer, this is going to be a little bit of a different affair this evening. We’re going to be playing some weird stuff.”

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Sporting long hair and smart black trousers and a pressed shirt, Jamie T opened up with ‘St Christopher’ from his 2009 EP ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’, backed by guitar and piano. A solo version of ‘Calm Down Dearest’ from his 2007 debut album ‘Panic Prevention’ followed, which sparked a mass sing-along from the sold out crowd.

“This next song’s never been heard before,” said Jamie before playing ‘Smile Señorita’. Telling the audience the story of the song, he explained to laughs: “I was in a pub a few years ago and, as you do, started talking about the Spanish Civil War and went home and decided to write a song about it. But as I sobered up I realised I didn’t know anything about it! But as with any great songwriter I didn’t let that stand in my way.”

After ‘Brand New Bass Guitar’ and ‘Back in the Game’, Jamie T played ‘On The Green’ from the ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ EP, introducing it by saying, “I can’t remember what this is off!” He followed that with a cover of Bran Van 3000’s ‘Mama Don’t Smoke’, ‘Believing In Things That Can’t Be Done’ from 2009’s ‘Man’s Machine’ EP and ‘Magnolia Melancholia’ from this year’s EP of the same name.

Jamie T then aired a new before heard solo piano ballad called ‘Young Bastard’. “When I knew this show was coming up I started looking through old files for songs I never played,” he commented of the track. “I don’t remember writing this, but it says I wrote it six years ago and I must have been pretty depressed at the time.”

For ‘Planning Spontaneity’, from the ‘Chaka Demus’ EP, he was joined by a string quartet. After a trio of tracks from last’s year’s ‘Carry On The Grudge’ album (‘Love Is Only A Heartbeat Away’, ‘Murder of Crows’, ‘The Prophet’ ), Jamie played a brand new, 1970s Brit-folk inspired song called ‘Whiskey and Wine’. “This is a brand new song which I haven’t finished,” he said by way of introduction.

Another mass singalong greeted an acoustic ‘Sticks and Stones’ before Jamie finished on ‘Emily’s Heart’. He returned for an encore made up of a cover of Billy Bragg’s ‘New England’, which used to be regular part of his early sets, but which he hasn’t played live since 2007. Jamie T and his band finished with the never-before-played-live ‘Fox News’.

Jamie T played:

‘St Christopher’
‘Calm Down Dearest’
‘Smile Señorita’
‘Brand New Bass Guitar’
‘Back in the Game’
‘On The Green’
‘Mama Don’t Smoke’
‘Believing In Things That Can’t Be Done’
‘Magnolia Melancholia’
‘Young Bastard’
‘Planning Spontaneity’
‘Jilly Armeen’
‘Love Is Only A Heartbeat Away’
‘Murder of Crows’
‘The Prophet’
‘Whiskey and Wine’
‘Sticks and Stones’
‘Emily’s Heart’
‘A New England’
‘Fox News’