Jamie T at the Forum (Melbourne)

Just when we though Jamie T might be getting a little quiet, he announces a third album after a 5 year wait and an Australian tour after nearly a 6 year wait. Luckily, it turns out the wait was well worth it. With the album Carry On The Grudge peaking at 35 on the Australian album charts and a high 4 in the UK, the three singles from the record are all strong tracks.

Arriving on stage in front of a large-scale print of his album cover, which features a breastfeeding woman and child, the 5-piece band began with ‘Limits Lie’, which is also the first track from Carry On The Grudge. Starting off with huge energy it was hard to believe Jamie could get the crowd any more excited than they were, but when it was time for ‘Salvador’ from his first record, his fans were in full swing. Turning the beautiful Forum Theatre in Melbourne into a crazy punk rock venue for the night, Jamie T’s fans yelled and screamed the lyrics to ‘Salvador’ and ‘Hocus Pocus’ with every muscle in their bodies.

From here on, no lyrics was missed by the die-hard fans that had patiently waited so long for this tour. A little more than halfway through the set Jamie turned down the pace and volume a little, turning to his acoustic guitar to serenade us with ‘Emily’s Heart’ and then quickly switched back to his electric for amazing performances of ‘The Man’s Machine’ and ‘Spider’s Web’ where the crowd became drenched in each others’ sweat but continued to dance and jump like they might not see Jamie for another 6 years.

For ‘368’ Jamie ditched his instruments completely and became more on fire than ever before. With the freedom of movement in all his limbs, he ran and jumped and waved to his hearts content and the entire venue responded with waves of excitement. With his guitar back comfortably in his hands, Jamie and his band began ‘If You Got The Money’ to the loudest cheers yet. Ending with a heavily slowed pace, the crowd understood that this track was the finale. As the band took their bows and disappeared off stage, the realisation that there was no way ‘Sheila’, ‘Zombie’ or ‘Sticks and Stones’ could all be left off the set list got everyone chanting and stomping for Jamie to come back on.

‘Sheila’ of course was a hit, and guitar-less again the energy from stage blew the roof off. ‘Zombie’ was so intense that Jamie ended up on his knees by the time the bridge rolled around and ‘Sticks and Stones’ while sounding good, was fuelled by the crowds’ bemusement-turned-excitement at being treated to all three missing pieces of their Jamie experience puzzle.
The time between his first tours and records to now has seen Jamie mature so much as a performer that although we all have bad days, it’s almost impossible to imagine him constructing a set with any less passion. Hopefully we don’t have to wait forever for the next set of fresh Jamie sounds but for now the memory of the Carry On The Grudge tour and an epic album to relive it with will have to suffice.

PHOTOS: Jamie T in Melbourne.

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