Punky Lahndan shout-along king holds party in his hometown
Jamie T is the cheeky south London boy done good, the tale-spinning suburban troubadour with a glint in his eye and some crumbled pills in his back pocket; the mouthy spokesperson for today’s back-chatting youth who prefer dancing in the streets to weeping in their bedrooms. Needless to say, we’ve been waiting for him longer than he could possibly know.
“Welcome to the Panic Prevention Disco,” he hollers in his perfect Lahndan twang, sauntering onstage in a natty blue-check shirt and mod-tastic jacket which make him look like an off-duty member of The Jam. Settling down onto a stool the acoustic chappy with a bass instead of a six string launches into the refreshing ramble of ‘Calm Down Dearest’, dishing out future folk like Billy Bragg’s speed-dabbing, hip-hop-loving youngest nephew. But then all of a sudden, four ne’er-do-wells skulk on from stage left, grinning their heads off, dripping fag ash all over the shop and ready themselves to help Jamie create the biggest party of his life.
It’s a no holds barred exodus in terrific 2 Tone territory starting with ‘Ike And Tina’, a proper punk stop-start skank-gasm that’s swiftly followed by the glorious ‘If You Got The Money’, a track which makes the perfect transition from solo acoustic number to full-blown reggae blast pop. Singing along every time they hear a familiar line, the fervent crowd save their real lung power for the present-day fable that is ‘Sheila’, which is yelled along with by absolutely everyone in the venue – barstaff included.
Channelling the spirit of Joe Strummer, this is sweaty, shouty punk at its Clash- referencing finest, and while Jamie’s brother may be heckling him throughout, and he may get his guitar nicked during the rowdy stage invasion at the end of the set, it’s hard to remember a crowd being this much in love.