Walking into the big and beautiful Liverpool Olympia on a Thursday night is an odd one, the idea of dancing the night away before work tomorrow really usually resonates but tonight is different, there’s a much younger crowd than the Olympia has seen recently, so I guess most will be taking off college and uni tomorrow.
Just before 8pm, the house lights come down for a dimly lit opening set by Baby Strange, the Glaswegian rock act replacing The Wytches for the final three rescheduled dates.
Baby Strange unfortunately didn’t land anything on us we hadn’t already seen elsewhere.
The presence of the crowd wasn’t there, but mainly for the reasoning of usually a younger crowd will be there simply for the headline act and they won’t care for whoever is supporting but in their fairness, we couldn’t find anything in Baby Strange‘s performance to capture us.
However, performances of “Pleasure City” and their punky cover of Peter, Bjorn & John‘s “Young Folks” showed needed signs of life but still didn’t land.
At promptly at 9pm, Jamie T hit the stage to an uproar from his rabid seemingly loyal fanbase. From the get-go Jamie is in control of the crowd, opening with “Power Over Men” with thousands of younger voices singing in unison with the modern punk troubadour.
Immediately after, Jamie dives into “Tescoland” and the place explodes. With us being just to the left side next to the bar, the madness was with us. Everyone diving all around together.
The crowd is in the palm of his hands as Jamie continues to hit us with the best live songs from his bag of tricks. It also helps that Jamie is in high-form, being a fantastic performer as usual maybe stepping it up for the final night of the tour.
The flow of the setlist is almost perfect, throwing us classics like “Salvador”, “Don’t You Find” and many more. However, an issue with this sort of audience, attention wasn’t held during the slower numbers where Jamie seemingly pours his heart and soul out.
After a stellar hour and 20 minute set, Jamie retreats to the back. The rambunctious crowd slam their feet of the ground and scream for Jamie, the scream of “No!” behind me when he leaves is Wrath of Khan-esque.
He returns alone for an acoustic performance of the soulful “Heart in the Game”, the applause proved no more was needed from Jamie, however he delivered a final blow in the form of “Zombie”. The please goes mental, once again and they knew it was for the final time so they made it special. Drinks fly, people dance and jump, it’s somewhat magical.
In the end, Jamie T returns to Liverpool in very fine form and proves that no matter what, his audience will always be here and will always be mad for him.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by James Ainsworth. Article release delayed by issues with Jamie‘s team.