Jamie N Commons, The Prince Albert, Trafalgar Street, Brighton, March 2

First published in The Critic by

Jamie N Commons wowed the crowd at the Albert on Friday night with a hot and sweaty set of searing blues rock. The 22-year-old Bristolian (by way of Chicago) showed why he is tipped for big things. Wading In The Water was a wonderful opener, with each musician providing fine vocals to accompany Commons, who sounds like he’s been buried in the desert with only a bottle of whiskey for company. Barnstorming stomper Nina followed, with gorgeous 1970s keyboards, and from then on the audience was Commons’ to do with as he wished.

He followed this up with the exemplary The Preacher, a breathtaking track of religion and heartache – themes which run through his work vividly.

Devil In Me could also be a huge hit for Commons, with strong melodies strewn everywhere and a vulnerable, pulsating blues heart at its core.

His set breezed by, and while he searches for producers for his album (Rick Rubin is rumoured to be interested), there was a sense that there are flashes of brilliance that need to be teased out a little more by a trained ear.

Indeed, due to this being Commons’ first tour, the drummer had to ask him what the encore would be as it started, but the delightful chain-gain hand-clap acapella closer meant the onlooking flock were well and truly converted.

It would be no surprise to see Commons make his name across the pond, and with talent and onstage charisma in abundance at such a young age, the open plains of America are the limit.

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