JAMIE Woon took to the stage at Gorilla on Thursday night, Quays News entertainment reporter Katura Barrows-Robotham went along…

Many people became aware of Jamie Woon thanks to BBC Radio 1 playing his single ‘Sharpness’. Ever since, people have enjoyed the soulful tones shown in ‘Mirrorwriting’, and since, in his new album ‘Making Time’.

It has been four years since the 32 year-old; Brit School graduate set foot on stage in Manchester. Gorilla warmly welcomed him back; it was about time, but his support act Jordan Rakei was up first.

At 7:40pm the New Zealander, Rakei began to play, his innocence was admiring. He looked like an ordinary guy; with just him and his guitar but his voice was far from ordinary. Although I have listened to the song, I was unaware that he had worked with Disclosure on the song ‘Masterpiece’ until he sang a beautiful acoustic version.

Jordan has dipped his toes in the water with various genres including Hip Hop, Reggae and Deep House, as he continues to explore and combine these genres.

The singer says meditation and music has shaped his life, this was evident while he was on stage with his calm demeanour and his passion for his music coming across in his powerful voice. The musician, producer and singer/songwriter let his music do the talking. Much like Woon, his chilled music vibes pleased the crowd and he successfully gained new fans.

Jordan Rakei, supporting Jamie Woon, at Gorilla in ManchesterWoon was accompanied by his drummer, keyboard player and bass guitarist as well as two really cool backing singers who complemented Jamie well. The song ‘Movement’ from his new album plummeted the room into a new world with the ‘bassy’ undertones, softly sung lyrics and the moody red lighting – a great atmosphere.

His stage presence was beyond effortless, his band were charismatic meaning the crowd were mesmerised throughout the show. His funk and soul influences shinned through his voice, the likes of artists like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye were clear by his surprising vocal range.

A minor hiccup occurred during the middle of the show when Jamie forgot his words – his three-piece band and skilled vocalists carried him through as he laughed it off. The crowd were not fazed at all; they sincerely cheered him on and quickly returned back to dancing and singing.

His solo performance of ‘Shoulda’ transfixed the audience; this was the only song that throughout the duration of the gig the crowd fell silent, just admiring his talent.

Jamie’s music appeals to a variety of different people, both young and old it was very refreshing to see a mixture of fans enjoying his performance.

A cover of Aaliyah’s “Try Again” featuring Timbaland was also performed, this early 2000s song was greatly appreciated by the crowd, and they sung along as the vocalists encouraged us to dance, clap and ‘step to it’, the ambience was incredible. Ironically, Jamie did in-fact try-again when he forgot his words. That being said it was a brilliant gig with lots of energy, emotion and fun.

You can see Jamie Woon in Manchester again this summer at Parklife Festival on June 11/12 at Heaton Park.

By Katura Barrows-Robotham

Katura caught up with Jamie before the show and her piece will be available on quaysnews.net in the next few days…

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