Jamie T + The Wytches // Portsmouth Guildhall Live Review 3.10.16

Jamie T (+The Wytches) // Portsmouth Guildhall Live Review

            With an odd mix of people in Portsmouth Guildhall for Jamie T, the main objective remained the same- to get as close to the stage as possible. The Wytches were tonight’s support act and used this as an opportunity to project their new album ‘All Your Happy Life’ onto unexpected fans. They opened with ‘C-Side’ and this grunge banger captivated everyone from the beginning. The dirty opening that resembled The Fall, had audience members look up and immediately take an interest in this heavy, psychadelic-grunge band that were, quite frankly, an odd choice of band to be supporting soft, indie guy, Jamie T. Later in their (unfortunately) short set, the band slipped into debut favourite, ‘Gravedweller’ that had a few fans in the audience singing along (myself included). The Wytches had a tough job captivating an audience of people who were into different music in comparison to the songs they create however, did a fascinating job of converting the majority of the room into grunge fans for half an hour.
            Jamie T was on stage shortly after and the room changed remarkably. With girls screaming and couples having lots of romantic moments to their favourite Jamie T song, it was safe to say, the room was filled with a lot of love. The stage was soon dominated by a biblical back drop as Jamie T opened with new favourite, ‘Power Over Men’ from his most recent album ‘Trick’. Despite the sound in the Guildhall not travelling any further than the 4th row, the raunchy riffs had the crowd oozing excitement as they recited every word back to him. He then slithered into ‘Solomon Eagle’ and I can’t help but wish he started off with this track. The upbeat tempo and the higher energy levels given from each member on stage were admired by everyone and the crowd interaction was phenomenal.
            After playing ‘Operation’ from early album, ‘Panic Prevention’ and then taking us forward by playing ‘Drone Strike’, he then lost his jacket and took on the stage persona I had been patiently waiting for. Unfortunately, from the back row, it was almost impossible to hear any of the harmonies created by his overly-talented band and that was a massive shame. The opening note to ‘Salvador’ had the crowd go mental and The Streets sounding vocal-style started the drinks flying everywhere as bodies started surfing their way over the top of the crowd; it made for a breath-taking atmosphere.
            ‘Peter’, from the album, ‘Carry on the Grudge’, was next and sent the crowd into a frenzy. The fearsome, infectious beat that was projected throughout this song was amazing to observe and was enjoyed by everyone in the room. The crowd sung every word back as if it was a prayer and the whole venue was shouting “Peter doesn’t like this song” at Jamie by the end of this track. This song was easily the highlight of the night.
            After playing other obvious favourites such as the inevitable ‘Sheila’, ‘Sticks n Stones’ and ‘Rabbit Hole’, Jamie and his endowed band left the stage. They re-joined the stage almost immediately and went into ‘Back in the Game’ and personal favourite of mine, ‘Zombie’. The up-beat, dance hit, ‘Zombie’, that resembles the style of ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ was a perfect end to his set. The whole place turned into a loving dancefloor and sucked everyone in with its infectious movement.
            With a shit sound from the Guildhall and a crowd full of people chewing each other’s faces off, it was quite impressive that Jamie T had the ability to still make it an enjoyable night. Hopefully, next time he plays a gig, it will be in a venue that makes it possible to hear him from wherever you stand and my view wont be totally obstructed by loved up couples chewing their partners’ mouth.


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