Put it down to football fever, or the triumphant success of his first-ever number-one album, but when Jamie T’s tour pulls into Cardiff, it feels like a momentous occasion. The crowd isn’t dampened by the bleak temperatures on this particular Monday night in Cardiff – in fact, as Jamie himself proclaims, it‘s a night of celebration. Wales’ first World Cup goal in 64 years sent the crowd into a frenzy before the headline set had even started, and in something like the spirit of the evening, Jamie emerges clad in a vintage AFC Wimbledon shirt.
The night begins with support from 86TVs: a band of (three) brothers, including Felix and Hugo White of The Maccabees, debuting unreleased tracks. The Great Hall is then quickly packed out with a crowd who, whether they were reliving their teenage years or still in the throes of youth, go full pelt with their energy levels. Most sing at the top of their lungs for the entirety of the gig, from 90s Cars to Sheila: it feels like every Jamie T song is a beloved favourite, and the frontman himself laps it up, matching his fans’ energy with a charismatic and earnest performance.
With a setlist pleasingly mixing new and old, spanning a 15-year discography, Jamie T and band flit back and forth between his first and last albums, Panic Prevention and The Theory Of Whatever, with a good helping of 2014’s Carry On The Grudge sandwiched in between. Jamie has the crowd in the palm of his hand, opening with a solo rendition of Brand New Bass Guitar and closing with Zombie, featuring an extended pause before gratifying the crowd with its tumultuous chorus.
The singular drawback of the night occurs when The Old Style Raiders had to be stopped so parts of the crowd can calm down for a moment. It’s a sad reality that people can be made to feel unsafe at gigs, but luckily it didn’t seem to stop the night from getting back on track and continuing with a good-hearted mosh to finish.
Jamie T + 86TVs, Great Hall, Cardiff University Students’ Union, Mon 21 Nov
words ROSANNA LEWIS photos TIM ALBAN
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