Jamie T was the voice of the youth. He was irreverent, angry, panicked, and cheeky. He was, to a certain extent, all of us.
There is nobody who represents my Uni years better than Jamie T. Alongside The Libertines (who are also making a come back), they were the backdrop to late night cramming, endless partying and anarchic halls of residence.
This is a ‘My Generation’ moment: I remember listening to The Who’s anthem and wondering who these guys were. They sounded old, but they spoke of stuff that were still relevant, even though the people they really spoke too had moved on a long time ago. My parents still listened to the song as a ‘memento’. I decided to embrace it and take it in stride. ‘My Generation’ was also mine.
Jamie T spoke to us the same way. But only five years later, he comes back, and all of a sudden, the drunk on cheap vodka cranberry kids who wore jeans one size too small have become grown-ups. They’ve graduated, got jobs… he foresaw it: we all have gotten jobs at the BBC as runners, and we sure as Hell haven’t seen our friends since last summer. We’re too busy.
So to “bump” into Jamie again brings an awkward feeling. I’ve never stopped listening to his songs, but like my parents with The Who, it brought flashbacks of amazing times I am kind of glad are over.
So what am I supposed to do with these new songs? I could ignore them, pretend they never happened, even if it feels a tiny bit like betraying an old friend you lost touch with: they reached out and you forgot to reply. I could put my younger self’s cap on and pretend time hasn’t passed. Or I could acknowledge the fact Jamie has grown up, like I have, like we all have, and just see if I can still relate to his music now.
Which is obviously what I did. Having spent five years Googling the lad to see if new material was available, I owe it to myself to get excited about the (finally) released new stuff.
But it isn’t because I felt I needed to like it that I did: I genially loved the new stuff! Yes, it took me back, no, it won’t ever be on repeat like the old stuff, yes, I danced around the flat like a retard, throwing arms and legs like there were no one watching (there wasn’t, to be honest).
Like with The Libertines, who have finally gotten their shit together and made up, I just can’t help but having butterflies in my stomach when I’m thinking about what these artists represent: a time gone by, but also old friends I’m meeting again now that we all got older. And the amazing thing is that we still have stuff in common, and I can still relate.