Mid-way through Jamie T’s rapturous set in Spain, he said, “I went away for a long time, but this has been the best year of my life. We won’t be away again.” A statement that defines the satisfying success of his return to prominence after fading into the backdrop a few years back. “Carry On The Grudge” marked his revival and was a carefully constructed LP that was an immediate success. Zombie led the way and sold out tours followed, the festival season has been a celebration of both his most recent work and a look back to his beginnings as one of the country’s most popular solo artists.
His appearance at Benicàssim last Friday epitomised why we needed Jamie T back, for an artist who outside of the genre won’t have people begging for festival tickets, he attracted one of the biggest pre-headline crowds of the weekend. A cult that seems to mix teenage fans that were school-kids when he began and the generation above that are able to match reminiscence with fresh sounds led by tracks like Peter which was spat out as the sun set on the second night of the festival.
There was plenty of room for songs from 2009’s “Kings & Queens” album though. 368 and the gentle Emily’s Heart with Sticks ‘n’ Stones the track that sky-rocketed the album to 2nd in the charts. Perhaps the most notable part of the set was when Jamie T expressed his dislike of playing Sheila live. Arguably one of his best and definitely on of his most popular songs, it has been omitted from his sets plenty of times. “But you guys make me love it”, the reception that it got was one of appreciation, it still remains obscure that he doesn’t enjoy playing the song – maybe it has further significance or maybe he’d just rather stay in the present. So it would be fair to say that it might be on its’ last legs in terms of live performances. If You Got The Money is another popular track from his debut album “Panic Prevention”, it went down a treat… dom-dom-de-de-dom-dom.
After supporting Blur in Australia next week, he’ll play at Reading and Leeds festival which is thus far his last live date organised. One can only hope that during a deserved break over the autumn he’ll get back in the studio to test whether he can follow up the success of his comeback, maybe that is the real test. If he has another LP in him that’s even nearly as good as his last especially, he has plenty more in him and plenty more years to mark as “the best of [his] life.”