Artful Dodgers

by Simon


“We stole the burning sun in the open sky,
We stole the twinkling stars in the black night,
We stole the green belt fields that made us believe,
We stole everything that we could see.”

I’ve been listening a lot lately to Jamie T, both his latest album and the first album.  It’s quite easy to dismiss him as another Lily Allen or Streets – that is if you don’t like either of those: and I do.

But for all the modern trappings, the street slang and hip hop influences, Jamie T, a lot like Lily or Mike Skinner, harkens back to older music.  The sort of music that features in this blog and plenty of the others listed to the right.

The first Lily Allen album is covered with Specials influences.  She even sounds like Rhoda Dakar on some of the songs.  Mike Skinner again recalls The Specials, but also Madness.  Jamie T reminds me of nothing more than Weller, Strummer, and strangely on some songs Billy Bragg.

Here’s a handful of tunes, two from the first album and two from the latest. Back In The Game does early one man and his battered guitar Bragg on a dodgy sounding bass; If You’ve Got The Money is pure Strummer and Jones with the line about the ‘Buddy Holly hiccup on the karaoke’ evoking Joe so much that it’s spooky. Meanwhile Sticks N Stones references The Jam and is almost a rewrite of Thick As Thieves; and Chaka Demus reminds me of Mick Jones in Big Audio Dynamite, with a lovely Northern Soul/Hip Hop groove.

Magic stuff.

Jamie T – Back In The Game
Jamie T – If You’ve Got The Money
Jamie T – Chaka Demus
Jamie T – Sticks ‘N’ Stones