LIVE: Jamie Lenman @ Gorilla, Manchester (23/04/2014)

Date: April 23rd, 2014
Venue: Gorilla, Manchester
Support: Hawk Eyes


An illustrator by day and a suited up rockstar by night, Jamie Lenman is back on the road once again on his second stint across the UK since announcing he was back playing music again last year, his first time since parting ways with his band, Reuben. Staying true to the perks of a solo artist, Lenman is continuing to do things his way, this time bringing a 7-piece band on the road with him.

This time just going in with one support band, Hawk Eyes (***) are given the task of warming the Mancunian crowd up. Their riffs are beefy and everything delivered for their 30 minutes onstage is loud and fast. The Leeds based outfit are clearly glad to give the opportunity and, though clearly restricted by their small amount of space onstage, they still manage to deliver riffs that sound, to put it mildly, collosal.

Not many artists can deliver a vast array of metal, jazz, and jazz-metal within the same set, but Jamie Lenman (*****) can pull it off whilst barely breaking a sweat. The standard four-piece of the Heavy/Mellow band is the standard formation for the first part of the set, smashing into action with buzz debut single ‘Fizzy Blood’ before morphing right into ‘The Fuck Of It All’. As is with any Jamie Lenman set, some cuts from his Reuben past rear their heads; ‘Blood, Bunny, Larkhall’ and ‘No One Wins The War’ keeping the pits in action, whilst a solo acoustic rendition of ‘Nobody Love You’ tugs hard at the heartstrings.

When the additional brass section comes onto the stage though, composed of a saxophonist, a trombonist and a trumpeter, creating the 7-piece, they truly bring big band hit ‘Pretty Please’ to how it was always intended to be translated live. Not only this, their additional input with songs like ‘All The Things You Hate About Me, I Hate Them Too’ and ‘Shotgun House’ inject an extra level of depth, and set closer ‘Muscle’ and its sludgy and slow doom-y delivery has some colour and character.

Confessed by Lenman himself as these few dates being his last headline shows for a while, not including festival appearances this summer, it seems the multi-genre extraodinaire is set to focus back on his illustration work. Whether or not he’s wielding a guitar or a pen in his hand, Jamie Lenman still holds the title of one of Britain’s best songwriters. Fact.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)