What's the hottest accessory for NY hipsters these days? A London accent. Or at least a
playlist that comes heavily loaded with Brits who
flaunt their natural-born accents when
they sing, rather than going
with the usual American blues impersonation. Would I go so
far as to
call it another British Invasion? Not really. But the likes of Mike Skinner (The
Streets), Lily Allen, and newcomer Just Jack are now the big buzz kids in the NY show scene.
Add to that list Jamie T.
With an accent so thick you could stand a spoon up straight in it, the
lad is the latest of
the lot to be critically lauded in his native land
and shipped stateside to test the fame
machine that is the US music
scene. (I mean really, he's on Zomba, for @$%'s sake.)
September found the wonderboy from Wimbledon hopping the pond for a series of US
shows, including multi-night runs in NY and LA. His Williamsburg Union Pool and
Bowery Ballroom shows were must-sees for the indie in-kids. With a recent nomination
for the UK's uber-prestigious 2007 Mercury Prize
under his belt, can you blame the
hipsters for indulging their
curiosity in the bright new Brit? I'll admit my own curiosity was
piqued by the odd contrast of the Mercury Prize nomination and the
lukewarm review of
a previous show by the reliably spot-on Brooklyn Vegan blog. Hmmm, what to make of it?
a spitting style and a curled lip, Jamie T looked and sounded oddly
like a very
young Empire of the Sun-era Christian Bale. But a little
less polished and perfected, and
a lot more rock and roll.
the arrangements and slick production mute the effect on his
recordings, his live
performance belied a propensity and predilection
for ska. More than just a strong
undercurrent, there's a downright
raging reggae river in his tunes.
Between the reggae, the accent, and the saucy attitude, is it any wonder the label paired
him with It-Girl Lily Allen
for a bonus track? It's synergy. But where Lily Allen forgot the
left and right, and royally botched her Coachella appearance last
spring, Jamie T's
slightly sloppy delivery at the Bowery Ballroom
was right in tune with his overall vibe, and
worked just fine.
he could benefit from a bit more touring experience under his belt, it
was a fine
start to what could turn out to be a beautiful friendship
with the US market. Keep
working at it, Jamie, and come back.
MORE JAMIE T LIVE:
--Photos from the show
--Videos from the show