Jamie Woon - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Thu 1 March 2011 (3 stars)

London dubstepper in the James Blake mould manages to impress at King Tut's

Jamie Woon - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Thursday 1 March

Perilously close to the vanguard of truly breakthrough dubstep, London boy Jamie Woon is hanging on James Blake’s coattails in more ways than one. Blake got there first (just) and he’s also mastered the template of soulful singer-songwriting backed by stark, otherworldly electronic atmosphere to a far more effective degree. While Blake sounds like Antony Hegarty fronting Portishead, Woon comes across in places more like this decade’s Craig David. Not that we want to prejudge an artist who was the year behind Amy Winehouse at the Brit School, though: how did he do here?

This was, to be honest, a pretty enjoyable show, even as Woon found himself earnestly Jamiroquaiing his way through the plaintive, yearning soulstep of ‘Gravity’. With backing from two keyboard players and a drummer, his music sounded both richly artificial and reassuringly live when those sticks came into service (or both at once during his defining ‘Night Air’, an ‘In the Air Tonight’ for the tweens – not a disparagement). Woon variously allowed himself a lengthy, electronically-aided guitar solo midway through and an unashamedly corny but upbeat soul number called ‘Lady Luck’, which was dipped in the essence of (very) latterday Motown, and fair play for making neither as self-indulgent as they sound on paper.

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