It makes sense that a Brit wordsmith wunderkind like Jamie T, who’s written so many clever lines inspired by the excesses of alcohol, would have something to say about American beer. It’s been a topic poked fun at by Brits for as long as there has been beer (and an America). How can we forget Nottingham band Six. By Seven’s classic tune, “American Beer”, after all?

Though Jamie T has something to say about the poor quality of our piss water, he admits to being impressed by our fondness for whiskey chasers. And so it goes. His between-song chat underlines the dual nature of his songs: on one side, his lines are so raw and knowing they hurt, yet on the other, they ring with the innocence of a school boy. With his precise, theatrical delivery on some lines, in contrast to a put-on cockney slur on others, there are a few rendered nearly indecipherable to this mostly-American audience. But it doesn’t matter. All ears and eyes are glued to Jamie T tonight.

The fact that this artist has a wad of lyrics taped haphazardly above the Nike swish on his t-shirt makes him all the more appealing to the ladies. And the young ladies are certainly out in full force at Union Pool tonight, cramming the space by the stage footlights to get as close as they can to hear his stories unfold.

It’s clear that Jamie T’s talent is almost too big for the place, which is uncomfortably over-sold to the point of ridiculousness. “Is anyone drunk tonight?”, he asks after a few songs, flatly adding, “I can’t see your ugly mugs.” Though he’s playfully insulting the crowd at this point, he can’t lose. Jamie T is charming whether he likes it or not. One look around the room, and it’s amazing to see that the look on some faces is near-ecstasy. –MVW/photo by Tear-n-Tan