Jamie T, Alexandra Palace, gig review: Less cheeky, ramshackle street-poet slurs and a more rock-refined style

The singer has evolved into a wry, self-critical commandeer

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The Independent Culture

It is a momentous night for 28-year-old troubadour Jamie Treays as he makes his long-awaited return to the London stage with a fiery and powerful performance.

Following a five-year gap since his first flurry of albums – 2007's debut Panic Prevention and 2009's Kings & Queens – his extraordinary third album, Carry On The Grudge is the long-gestated release that sees Treays finally crack the mainstream.

Stuffed with narratives of contemporary bohemian life; the new songs contain less of the cheeky, ramshackle street-poet slurs and more rock-refined style and lyrical turns that create a darker and more sweeping momentum.

Dressed in a leather jacket and baseball cap, Traeys fires Joe Strummer guitar blasts on exuberant rough-rock singles "Zombie", "Don't You Find" and finale "Rabbit Hole", expressing lyrically touching moments on folk-lilted "Mary Lee" and "Love Is Only A Heartbeat Away".

New songs are met with as many cheers and slurred-shout alongs from the geezer-centric crowd as the older, belligerently catchy numbers like: "368", "If You Got The Money" and "Sticks and Stones", sung by support act Hollie Cook.

Jamie T has cast off the likely lad-persona and evolved as a wry, self-critical commandeer who never skimps on the catchy hooks and  tonight, makes a most confident and welcome return.