It’s been a while since the sounds of London caused me to become excited, but two lads are currently making enough noise to bring London to the main stage again. Those two boys are Jack Penate and Jamie Treays (aka Jamie T).
Interesting side-note to begin this: Penate seems to have a problem holding onto his personal belongings on stage. Proving how harsh the British music scene is, Penate says of a recent performance:
“I took my guitar off, and a kid came up and stole it. He knicked the guitar, put it under his arm and almost left before the bouncers stopped him.”
At another performance at the Oxford Zodiac, a fan stole Peñate’s distortion pedal. After he’d realised it was missing he proclaimed, “D’you know what? Whoever’s got it…keep it! Just make sure you play a Telecaster through it and not a Gibson!”.
I have high hopes for Jack Peñate. If you manage to catch any clips of him playing live, you can see an unabashed enthusiasm and love for the performance in his eyes. The jangly, shimmering guitars; the breathless delivery; Jack Penate spits out rockabilly, ska-influenced, soulful pop like no one else’s business.
Jack is distinctly London; with pointed, observational lyrics, this is a lad to look out for.
The tracks are taken from his Matinee album; however, he plans to hit the studio in January to record his second album, of which he says, “I don’t want people to compare any song [on the new album] to any song on the first record. That’s my only fear. I would happily make a record that completely flopped, but showed different sides to me than one that was on a not-as-good-first-record.”
Hmm. Should be interesting.
Listen: Jack Penate – Second Minute or Hour
Listen: Jack Penate – Torn on the Platform
Jamie Treays, more commonly known as Jamie T, is one of those artists that rebels against being pigeonholed. I’ve heard him being compared to Mike Skinner from the Streets, Lily Allen, and even Billy Bragg (I’m the least certain about this last one… I’d throw in Toothpick from the USA, or even Shane MacGowan of the Pogues before Bragg!). Still, none of these labels quite suit him.
There’s a bit of reggae in there; a large portion of rap; some rock; and some acoustic folk. The great thing about Jamie T, at least for me, is his ability to weave a story throughout his song. This is something that I feel justifies the comparisons with Skinner. At just 21 years of age, this kid has an amazing amount of potential… let’s see what becomes of him.
The below tracks are taken from his “Panic Prevention” album.
Listen: Jamie T – If You Got the Money
Listen: Jamie T – Sheila