Highly revered alt-rock hero Jamie Lenman visited the new Parish in Huddersfield for the closing night of his twice-delayed “Summer Acoustic” tour. One of perhaps the last lot of seated, socially distanced shows to be played as we head back into unrestricted times.
The old Parish venue saw some incredible shows but having moved across town this was the first chance to check out their new location and it’s clearly an upgrade. It looks like it has bags of personality and is definitely a venue that’s going to see some action.
Opening the evening was Kurt from Keighley’s Sounds of Swami, who dished out a cracking set of Fugazi-esque acoustic punk rock songs before swiftly exiting the building to head to his own birthday party which he’d had to duck out of at short notice.
Had this not been a seated, socially distanced show the floorboards may well have had their first serious test. The audience tonight although seated used their feet to create a rhythm section for Lenman, and you could feel they were itching to fully let loose as he played some of the most popular tracks from his solo material, his noughties alt-rock band Reuben and a couple of classy covers – which included a fantastic version of his favourite ever track – “Love Song for a Vampire” by Annie Lennox as well as Labi Siffre’s “It Must Be Love.”
Highlights of the set included “I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend,” Reuben’s “Moving to Blackwater” and the crowd duetting with Jamie throughout “Good Luck” towards the end of the set. But it was more than just the music that made the show enjoyable. Jamie’s personality and sense of humour make him instantly likeable and the way he dealt with ‘friendly’ hecklers and made jokes throughout the set made it feel more than just a gig.
Being new to the slightly off-kilter world of Jamie Lenman I really enjoyed the show and his music in the acoustic setting, but it has left me drooling at the prospect of hearing the full-throttle, full-band versions of many of these tracks, which will hopefully be possible not too far in the future.
You can catch Jamie Lenman at the second of Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings IV shows in London this September.