‘Wooney, Wooney’ was the chant between songs. It was met by an awkward but grateful smile from the 28 year old singer/ songwriter Jamie Woon as he walked onstage at the HMV institute library on Saturday night, at the unusually early hour of 8:30pm.
In fact, awkward was how Jamie looked most of the night as he stood centre stage, drummer behind, keyboard player to the right, and guitarist with iMac to the left, occasionally fondling a giant sampling and programming board.
Hailed as ‘The first king of Post-Dubstep’, ahead of similar artists such as James Blake, Jamie Woon is a shy boy with an air of mystique, always polite, somewhat like Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys .
Jamie’s music direction changes throughout this gig from a deep dubstep feel to that of a jazz club, one minute there are sleazy riffs on-top of relaxed drums, next he plays ‘Streets’ and takes us to another place completely.
With the addition of simple red and blue lighting flooding the stage there are points where I’d have felt more comfortable tucked away in a booth with friends at a club rather than standing shoulder to shoulder with people I don’t know.
The times he straps on a guitar the mood changes more drastically, like on the upbeat rendition of the first single from ‘Mirrorwriting’, or ‘Night Air’, as it blended into a beautifully experimental dub-step breakdown, complete with a deep rumbling bass line similar to Burial’s ‘Street Halo’ single.
It might be coincidence but this may have been influenced by the unorthodox London producers remix of Woon’s ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ three years ago.
The floppy fringed Londoner saves his best till last, ending with ‘Tmrw’ and huge single ‘Lady Luck’. Guitar-free once more Jamie seems more comfortable this time, taking control of the sampling and massive rumbling bass lines, swaying back and forth, at one with his own melodies while laying down hugely rich vocals.
After maybe 30 seconds offstage Woon returns to the stage alone to produce a stripped-bare rendition of ‘Gravity’, showcasing just how great his vocal talents really are (in case we weren’t sure already).
For his final trick he approaches the spaceship like sampling board, mic tightly clasped around his mouth as if he was hosting an underground rap battle contest and starts to beat-box over a raw beat that eventually bursts into life as ‘Spirits’.
The sound is hauntingly tremendous looping beat-boxing vocals over his live vocals acapella style, urging the crowd to sing some ‘oohs’ with him. This is undoubtedly the most intriguing part of the whole night as the whole room manages to harmonise with each other perfectly.
Woon then blushes, takes a polite bow and leaves the stage. A true gentle-man from a scene of music that seldom sees such luxuries.
He seems like the sort of guy who would have probably have played a free show to the unfortunate few who turned up at 9:30pm to see a man who took to the stage at half past eight.
Top pic courtesy of artrocker.tv, for more info on Jamie Woon visit www.jamiewoon.com