[5] Jamie T, ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’

Jamie Treays is a national treasure, only no one realises it yet. He’s smart, wily and witty, and is all the best bits of The Clash rolled into one rat-faced, half-cut Wimbledon marauder. ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’ was going to be the record that did it; the first fruits of a difficult second album (so difficult he made it twice) and a boisterous tune blessed with at least two different choruses along with a serious treatise on the ideal circumstances for a “crap”. Forgive the unlikely compliment, but it’s Mike Skinner gone plastic punk.

And did the record do it? Was it T’s big break? Barely. Just another No.15 hit. You should take a long, hard look at yourselves. When she’d finished pogoing (a natural response, even to the plastic variety), Junior took a long, hard look at the sleeve and declared Jamie “green”. And that’s not all: he even “sounds green, like a tree.”

Let’s go out and find some trouble:

[12] Jamie T, ‘Calm Down Dearest’

Jamie T, ‘Calm Down Dearest’

Wimbledon’s premier rap-skiffle rodent had a big year, what with that Mercury nomination (and he really should have won – or did I say that about Bat For Lashes? Anyway, Panic Prevention was wildly inventive, clever and fun) and a packed John Peel tent singing along to this track at Glastonbury. His range is clearest on ‘Calm Down Dearest’, which sounds like Saint Etienne’s ‘Nothing Can Stop Us’ sung by a particularly verbose drunkard. It’s even better than I paint it.
 
It was greeted with stomping feet by Junior, who also chose to mirror the lyrics with a snarly face. Has she seen the lad? It was uncanny. She threw all this into the first couple of bars, missing the later subtleties of Treays’ affecting semi-ballad – “racking and stacking them lines” – subtleties that fair bring a tear to a wincing eye.