REVIEW: JAMIE WOON AT BRISTOL ANSON ROOMS (03/06/11)
I’d never heard a Jamie Woon tune before this gig, and what an introduction. Several interviews have alluded to his gradual involvement of dubstep themes in his music so Bristol, a trail blazing city in the dub scene, was an ideal opportunity to see how he was going to combine the synth we expect with the smooth vocals that so many of his fans adore him for. The crowd was fully illuminated as the drums hit full rhythm in ‘Blue Truth’, as though it was naming and shaming those who remained standing still despite being amidst such fresh, cutting beats.
At times he toed the line of self-indulgence: crooning indeterminate lyrics over a near deafening baseline, or at the other end of the spectrum it sometimes didn’t feel like Jamie Woon in concert, it felt like Jamie jamming in the front room whilst we put the kettle on. Despite the band playing at full strength all of those around us were chatting: the atmosphere akin to that in the tea tent at Glastonbury where many may have first seen him.
His encore was a little underwhelming but an impressive idea: he created a vocal orchestra by recording and looping himself on stage. He had been welcomed onto the stage with cheers and said a humble hello and thanks before launching into the set. As he bobbed his head, his fringe falling carelessly over his face it was easy to the appeal of this seemingly quiet and reserved guy that nothing felt forced. Scanning the crowd there seemed to be no agenda of age or attire, just fans (and a few newcomers) here to show their appreciation. There were almost no sing-along moments, not out of disdain but because the crowd felt comfortable for Jamie to take the lead as we all basked in his sound.
This gig certainly wasn’t enough to affirm my fan status but as several of his current followers told me: his voice is his greatest gift and his band left no space for said voice to shine. Jamie is clearly exploring several genres and is not afraid of conforming to the expectations set by fellow male vocalists: whether this was the best occasion for such exploration is debatable but it was refreshing. And if last night is him ‘off-game’ I eagerly await a complete performance.
Words: Georgette Keane
Photos: Laura Palmer
by 247 Magazine