What Does Jamie T Really Think About London?

Chris Lockie
By Chris Lockie Last edited 43 months ago
What Does Jamie T Really Think About London?

Image by music like dirt via Flickr

There are few singers more authentically London than Jamie T. Born in Wimbledon 28 years ago, went to school in Wimbledon, went to college in Cobham — wait, where's that, Surrey? Ah but then back to Richmond College and has been Londoning it up all the way since then.

This week the capital troubadour has released a new album to the delight and relief of his maniacal fans, who'd worried their hero was taking an age over the follow-up to 2009's second LP, Kings & Queens. The new record, Carry on the Grudge, has been receiving glowing praise in many sections of the press and having wrapped our ears around it this morning we can confirm he's lost none of his charm and wit.

However, Jamie's own relationship with London is a blurry one; in an interview with virgin.com in 2009, he was asked for his thoughts on the capital and replied with this: "I don't really have any views on the city to be honest, it's not something I think about. It's not that I don't care, but it's not something I worry about."

Admittedly that was five years ago, but we don't have much more to go on as Jamie has recently stated "talking about myself is not something I enjoy", and he doesn't have a diary full of interviews. On the one hand he did say in 2007: "I complain about London sometimes, but at the same time I love the place", but again from 2009 there's this: "It bores the shit out of me a lot of the time".

Boredom, of course, is what Londonist exists to correct. As he has also claimed that people say "a lot of the songs are about London when they are not", we've decided the best course of action is to list the Jamie T songs that mention London places by name and propose the theory that, deep down, he bleedin' loves the place innit.

You're ours Jamie, and that's that.

Sticks 'n' Stones (Hampton Wick)

Public transport woes beset Jamie in this single from 2009. 'I hope I haven't missed the last train, gonna be stuck in Hampton Wick, With the boys across the platform shoutin' lightweight prick'. Frightening place by the sounds of it.

Pacemaker (Trafalgar Square)

What exactly Lord Nelson would think of Jamie's 'crack pipe reeking' 50 metres below him in the famous square is anyone's guess. There's also a reference in the song to 'the old 12 Bar', the venue on Denmark Street where he played in 2006.

Alicia Quays (Camden, Farringdon)

We're back to public transport for this poorly spelled ode to an American R&B singer which comes across more like he can't stand the girl. 'The man says 'Wakey wakey it's mornin' time on the Northern line, I'm alright bowling straight up to Camden, All the way from North Farringdon'. That's really not very far Jamie, and you seem to have invented a new station, good work.

368 (Newport Street)

Potentially tenuous, as there are probably a great many Newport Streets about, including quite a few in south Wales. But we're banking on 'Working in a shop off Newport Street' being a reference to the one in Lambeth.

Calm Down Dearest (The Strand)

Not content with infuriating Nelson by referencing the type of drug-fuelled hedonism he died at Trafalgar to put a stop to, just along the way Jamie is now 'drunk down the Strand'. The old fella will be spinning in his grave, which Jamie will probably write about on his 2018 release 'God I Love Stoke on Trent'.

Direction Home (Brixton)

'I'll be with you in Brixton before you can say 'Merry Christmas'.' Christmas in Brixton eh? We can just picture Jamie in his red hat with flashing bobble and bright green jumper unwrapping the latest Nick Hornby and raising a toast to SW2.

Fox News (Earl's Court)

In a song you would fairly assume to be about right-wing American firebrands shouting down liberals on cable television, Mr 'don't really have any views on the city' references Earl's Court in the very first line of this B-side to 2007 single Calm Down Dearest.

Running Round the Town (Waterloo)

You can't really call yourself a London singer until you've name-checked Waterloo, but by the same token once you have you forfeit your right to claim allegiance to somewhere awful like Taunton. 'I met a man down in Waterloo,' says Jamie. More drug references in it too, as Mr T wisely edges further from the baleful gaze of the former Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean.

Northern Line

What could this be about? Admittedly it doesn't reference a London place by name but, well, we've an inkling this might have something to do with the capital.

Sheila (London)

One of the most London-based songs we've ever heard. Jamie's arguably most famous number includes three grim tales based in the city, including that of the central character, a woman who drowns in the Thames. It may not be a love letter to the city, but it's plainly the most damning piece of evidence that Jamie T is a London singer and there's very little he can do about it.

Jamie T's new album, Carry on the Grudge, is out now on Virgin Records. He also headlines Alexandra Palace on 14 and 15 November — tickets, selling fast, are available from the Alexandra Palace website.

Last Updated 01 October 2014