MOMENTS

Yesterday (28th January 2022) saw the release of the eagerly anticipated, Dave Eringa-produced, Rockfield Studios recorded second album from UK Official Album’s Chart Top 5 artist, Jamie Webster!

Never stuck for inspiration, people-powered and newly electrified singer-songwriter, Jamie Webster watched the world get weird this past year and channeled every wicked turn into a new, 10-track album, which he released yesterday Simply titled ‘Moments’.

Not only did Jamie hit the higher-reaches of the charts first time around with We Get By in 2020, but he has spent the last 16-months in the highest reaches of the UK Official Folk Album Charts, having been the first ever Number One artist on that particular run-down. Before Christmas Webster, completed an extensive UK Tour, his first full outing, with three nights at Liverpool’s ornate Olympia venue, a pre-cursor to his November date at the city’s 11,500-capacity M&S Bank Arena.

Taking major influence from the likes of Bob Dylan, ‘Moments’ is Webster’s lyrical gift sealed in the bold embrace of his band’s musicianship, from bluesy jams to fuzzed up anthems. Taking a distinct view from Covid-hitBritain, watching the wave hit and assessing the aftermath, the artist boldly claims that out of all the lockdown albums, this could be THE lockdown album.

Jamie says of the album:

“People must pretend not to understand what it’s been like for young people, waiting to finally live what they are told are their best years only to be denied that life for so long. They’ve had so little support, their own pains weren’t addressed during lockdowns and nobody came out on their side to change things, so [this] is about understanding why rules are broken….. ‘Moments’ won’t disappoint them. It’s bigger, better and doesn’t compromise for a second to try and claim popularity over principles.”

Jamie Webster is an artist who combines the mouth of Billy Bragg, albeit distinctly Liverpudlian and musical influences covering Dylan, Talking Heads and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Feeling no pressure of the notoriously difficult “second album” follow up, Webster confidently releases ‘Moments’. He is joined on stage and in the studio by his band including Lightning Seeds members Jim Sharrock (drums) and Tim Cunningham (bass) plus Danny Murphy (guitars).

The track listing for ‘Moments’ is as follows:-

1) Davey Kane 

2) Days Unknown 

3) Knock At My Door

4) Love Affair 

5) Something In The Air 

6) North End Kid 

7) Moments 

8) Going Out

9) What’s Wrong? 

10) What More?

We sat down for a listen to the album and have prepared our thoughts on each track as follows:-

Davey Kane

The album opener has me nodding my head especially with that lovely twanging guitar…. The violins play an important role here, and make the song really sing… it really lifts the song! Talking of singing this is my first introduction to Jamie Webster and I love the confidence in his voice – the dude can SING! We are in an era where singer songwriters are on the rise and Jamie’s definitely there, setting the standard…. The vocals on this just really get me.. he’s a storyteller, and a good storyteller shows that within his voice. It grabs your attention straight away.

Days Unknown

This song switches gear slightly, whereas Davey Kane has the vibe of a bluesy rock track, this is more country. The drums give me that feel, it’s like you can imagine the drums being played with brushes and everything being stripped back. The lyrics made me pause too,

“Time to say goodbye to the Netflix days” – to me it’s a call to action, there’s life beyond a screen, and Jamie is calling on us to wake up… there’s a la bit in there too… okay. This could easily be my favourite song so far.

Knock At My Door

This is acoustic guitar led, and as my thought has been since hitting play Jamie’s voice really is the star here among a gorgeous collection of songs. This bares a passing resemblance to “Dreams” in the pre chorus, and I like that, it’s got that anthemic feel to it. By the way, that guitar work is incredible!

Love Affair

This goes at a fair old wallop on the drums just kick and snare to begin with, and Jamie gets his vocals going…

“Lady if you let me take your hand, I promise you I never let go, 

She’s open to agree with one demand, tonight she wants to see the space show…”

Audio wise from this point there’s a build up from effects making out there’s a rocket launch, is that an innuendo? 

Maybe

Maybe not. 

But this track is a fun listen!

Something In The Air

First ballad on the album. This is gorgeous. I love the way that Jamie’s lyrics are filled with humour he pokes fun at tattoos and you hear a cheeky chuckle as he sings about it… It just tells me that he’s had the time of his life recording this.

“I’ll take your moody swings and talk of rings to see half a smile…” 

“And you never fail to impress with the way you dress even with those s*** tattoos.” 

Two of my favourite lyrics on this album so far

North End Kid

Is that a ukulele? Please tell me that’s a ukulele… This is sweet, it’s got a whistle solo too! 

But don’t get too comfortable, because then it jumps up into an upbeat folksy number with those strings back again… There’s some really nice harmonies on this too, and this is fighting to be my number one track right now on the album with “Days Unknown”. Oh and if you didn’t know this before the Liverpudlian accent really comes out on this. Makes me feel like I’ve gone home even though I’ve never been there in my life. Being a Beatles fan from since I was a kid, I feel the affiliation… 

Oh, nice addition of the hammond to close it.

Moments

The album’s titular track has a bounce to it, which I really like, I love the piano parts in there keeping everything in the pocket, it does it so simply, but it’s so effective! But it keeps things disciplined. Jamie goes through his range on this song, I like his husky vocals, and it’s a real treat to hear him showing off what he can do. Love the organ in the background by the way.

Going Out

Back to storytelling again, with the story of Paul and Annabel wanting to escape the mundane day to day life, it’s so observational…. 

“Well tonight he’s cutting the feed to the head news stations, taking a trip for a good vibration found a recipe for life so he’s off to cook it, 

Tired of hearing his freedom comes with costs,

To him it don’t compare to times he’s lost,

Aging and waiting to kick the bucket,

Nah, fuck it tonight he’s going out…”

Basically it’s showing how people are handling isolation and now it’s time to be free it’s time to let it go as you only live once… 

Love the harmonies on this!

What’s Wrong?

This is catchy! I like the effects on Jamie’s voice here, it sounds like the kind of song you’d hear on the jukebox in a bar somewhere in a desert town in the U.S., as well as on a big stage like Glastonbury, it’s just one of those songs that grab you on first listen…. Liking the harmonies it surrounds you… I like the way the rhythm switches at around 1:59, giving it a bit of a reggae feel but then it’s back into the main groove for the guitar solo and the end…. Such a tasty song

What More!?

I initially read this as want more??? (Hell yes!) as this is the album closer, but we are straight into let it all hang out rock n roll territory, and I just love the way he growls out “Play yer fookin’ guitar Danny..” And Danny lets RIP! OH DAMN……

This is a great album closer and rounds off what to me is probably one of my favourite releases this month, and it was an honour to review it. Jamie really puts everything into this, and it’s a joy to listen to. 

Right. I’m off to listen to it again!

Album review by Del Owusu & Sally Newman