Star rating - 8/10
This Deaf Institute gig was the second Manchester gig for Jamie N Commons (Norman? Nigel? Norris? who knows what the N stands for...) and this young musician with the amazing deep voice just gets better and better. His debut at the Sacred Trinity Church in Salford back in February last year was great, and at aged just 24, he now takes to the stage like a rock star, with shades and open necked shirt to accompany his trademark black felt hat.
Underneath those trapping he seems like a very modest and genuine person, who doesn't stop thanking the audience for coming to see him all night. And he is certainly a class act, with a very accomplished four piece band playing with him. His fabulous blues infused gospel rock, who knows how to define it really, is a mix of styles which is perhaps a reflection of his upbringing in Bristol, Chicago, and London.
He delighted the crowd with Lead Me Home (which has apparently been used on The Walking Dead TV series); and the rockier number Worth Your While. He does love songs too; Caroline had a beautiful harmonica accompaniment, and Only In the Night featured amazing keyboard playing.
He played great songs from his forthcoming EP Rumble and Sway, the title track of which is a bit of a dancier number; and Wash Me in the Water, with its gospel feel. He politely granted a request from a particularly raucous and unpleasant audience member to play a solo cover of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. He's that kind of guy.
Jamie N Commons is certainly one to watch out for. He has an amazing voice, a great band, and a lovely manner. This was another brilliant night of deep rocking gospel blues.