Ten years ago this month one of my favourite albums of the 2000’s was released and although Jamie T has remained a big name in British rock ‘n’ roll ever since his 2007 debut, I don’t know if he ever created another record with the self depth, creativeness and innovation of ‘Panic Prevention’.
Featuring twelve stellar tracks, each one awash with down to earth mid twenties angst and lack of direction, tackling subjects like over indulgence, lack of money and getting into fights in town due to having a massive gob. It also featured an even more endearing addition, in the samples that were strewn throughout, most of them cleverly cut from the self-help tape his mother had bought him to help him with his very real panic attack affliction. This is something I think we forget about Jamie T now that it’s not featured in any of his three later albums, but where his music still holds as much power today, increasing in production quality or changing sound entirely, his earliest tracks will always have a much more personal feel. He became an indie darling that year and I attribute that to feeling so invited in by the way he created his music.
It was also the point at which, as well as being the key writer of all his music and lyrics, he was the bass player. In fact, it was one of the first times I’ve seen a band fronted by an acoustic bass, and I’m not sure I can think of another.
The singles released from the album are still heard and loved ten years on and actually read like a greatest hits when you think of the endlessly catchy ‘If You Got The Money’, the incredibly put together tale of London’s least fortunate in ‘Sheila’ which featured the late Bob Hoskins in the music video, ‘Salvador’ was a striking and powerful introduction to who Jamie T was and then of course the obscure ‘Calm Down Dearest’ which features a relaxed, synthy backing track, layered over with vocals that I’m sure were performed whilst heavily intoxicated. But aside from the singles, the whole album has a lot to offer. Tracks like ‘Alicia Quays’, ‘Brand New Bass Guitar’ and ‘Back In The Game’ all comprise a soundtrack to 2007, and in a time when bands like Arctic Monkeys and Hard-Fi were making a living off of speaking about their day-to-day lives and surroundings, Jamie took this to a whole new level.
I still remember the promotion for this first album release and as I said before, after being invited in so personally by this incredible young talent, it always served as a shock to see each lamp post in London with a promotional poster on it before the release, one of said posters did get stolen from a lamp post and taken home to my bedroom wall as well. Then of course came the tour and the songs were brought to life, and as the band were larger than life, it was the music that won. Watching them from the Leadmill in Sheffield, I remember being surprised as the smell of marijuana resonated from the front row and a huge mosh pit took over the floor. Something that wasn’t expected at all and despite being a fan of the pit in the right setting, I retired to the sides to carry on enjoying the show. The Maccabees even supported on this tour and were fairly unknown at the time… all the more ammunition to the point that the mid 2000’s was a hot bed for music gold, and Jamie T for a time was right at the front for it.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)