I first encountered Jamie Webster by chance at Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester last year and I was blown away. When I heard that he was releasing his debut album this year with my favourite song from that set 'We Get By', I was looking forward to this release immensely. On listening, it evident my enthusiasm wasn't misplaced!
Album opener 'Down The Road' lays the foundation for this incredibly astute observation of all that is wrong with modern life. Delve beyond the melody and he lay's it all there, if you choose to listen; "There`s a road sold, Shows you not to think but just do as told" - this is the first lyric! Sharp as a tack this lad!
The theme continues through the whole album, yet it's not depressing. It offers hope. It offers light. It offers an alternative. He's asking you to think about what you're being fed as a life and ask yourself who it's really serving? To think for yourself and make up your own mind.
‘Living For Yesterday’ deals with the idea that the avatar we show the world is more important than who we are as a person - as Jamie put it recently, "it's that champagne lifestyle on lemonade wages". It's not a slight either, he's asking us to look into ourselves at what really has value - is it the clothes we wear or who we are as people that are most important? "Things on the scene, You need to conform to, Don't know what they mean,
But your friends they applaud you".
'Stop Living Blind' is all about not listening to the shite you're peddled and thinking for yourself. You don't need to follow the path everyone expects you to. Follow your dreams and chase the important. Don't believe the stuff you're fed - open your eyes. Go places and see the world for yourself.
I love the way Jamie has also left the title track to the last one on the album as well - 'We Get By' is an incredibly well observed look at how despite the shitty hand that many of us are dealt, we make the most of what we have without loosing hope or our determination to make a better life.
I recorded 'We Get By' at Neighbourhood Festival the album version is obviously different. but this version is utterly brilliant and deserves to be seen.
'We Get By' astutely captures the disparities and woes of the working class and modern life, consumption consumerism, people living a life beyond their means and the filters we're expected to live life through.
As a debut album this is sensational - you can catch Jamie on his postponed 'We Get By' tour next year tickets are available for some shows here
You can buy/stream the album via this link
9/10 - Discerning debut!
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