Live Review... Jamie T @ Manchester Academy, 07/11/14

When Jamie T announced his return this year, a glimpse of the almost fabled singer-songwriter became highly sought after. Despite being distant for half a decade, he re-emerged to fans as if he'd just nipped round the block and returned with a new band, new songs but still the same loveable chap with an equally as big bit between his teeth.

Much like his latest album, 'Carry On The Grudge', the crowd were eased into the show via, 'Limits Lie' and 'Don't You Find', coaxing people into a moody singalong. By the time Jamie orders them into a frenzied dance during 'Operation', there's limbs flying everywhere and wafts of beer, sweat and nostalgia around. 'Salvador' and new track, 'Rabbit Hole' are met by the same ruckus before being juxtaposed by the most beautiful and refined song of the night; 'Emily's Heart'.

Tracks from debut album, 'Panic Prevention', see Jamie and the dedicated members of the crowd grow in more confident sing-a-longs to songs 'Ike and Tina' and 'So Lonely Was The Ballad', which split up the fresher but less memorable tracks.

As for 2009's, 'Kings & Queens', you can't help but feel that some of it's finest fruits have been neglected. Those that are included though, 'Man's Machine' and 'Spider's Web', pick up the pace as the band hurtle towards the encore. By the time '368' clicks into play, Jamie's guitar is out of sight and he bounces around the stage with mic in hand like a riled up freestyler.

Naturally, the classics get the most love. 'If You Got The Money' ends the show with coarse throats looking to swap their pints of lager for lemsip; a sign that Jamie's tongue-twisting lyrics really are an art. Most people found out the hard way, trying their best to keep up with a memorable ending of 'ma-ma-ma-ma money, ma-ma money oh'.

It doesn't stop there though as he returns from the shadows alone to perform an almost undistinguishable solo of 'Calm Down Dearest' before 'Zombie' sparks a second-wind amongst the crowd. It sits almost perfectly alongside older gems, 'Sheila' and 'Sticks n Stones', to keep an aura of nostalgia not felt for most of the crowd since their angst ridden teenage years. For the newer fans, they've come at a much tamer time in Jamie's career, but his more delicate spindling of the guitar isn't far off the foul-mouthed songs we all fell in love with all those years ago.

By Joshua Shreeve (@JJShreeve)

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