A Weekend In Paradise for Jamie Webster
New Modern Sky signing Jamie Webster released his first original single, Weekend In Paradise on November 1st. It’s fair to say that the song has been well received, having reached No.8 and No.1 in the iTunes and Singer-Songwriter charts respectively. The track was streamed well over 100,000 times in its first week on Spotify alone, and saw radio support from Dave Monks of BBC Merseyside, and even a national spin on BBC 6 courtesy of Chris Hawkins.
The day after Weekend In Paradise’s release, Jamie performed his first ever headline gig with a set made up entirely of his own original songs. The gig was originally set for The Shipping Forecast, however after selling out in minutes, a much needed venue upgrade was called for. The Zanzibar was to be the new stage, but that too sold out just as quickly. The atmosphere from the BOSS Nights in which Jamie honed his craft was carried over, with a sense of energetic camaraderie uniting the room, generated by the unique synergy between artist and audience. Weekend In Paradise itself took the party to another level, and considering the song was released less than 48 hours earlier you would have been hard pressed to find someone yet to internalise the lyrics.
Weekend In Paradise is rooted in Webster’s own working class upbringing. It has long formed an integral part of Jamie’s live repertoire, where it found a home amongst his renditions of LFC songs. Even before the track was released, the lyrics were immortalised in a banner created by Liverpool fans. According to Jamie:
“The dream for every musician is to have your lyrics define a moment… when I saw that banner in Madrid (at the European Cup Final) in front of 60,000 people, a song I wrote, have been playing round all the boozers for years, you think ‘fucking hell, my tune has been part of the soundtrack for their journey’, it’s unbelievable.”
The knock on effects of Weekend In Paradise are already being felt. Shows in Dublin and London in February are close to selling out, and all 500 tickets have already been snapped up for his next hometown gig in the Arts Club Theatre. With a tour of Australia next up for Jamie, there will be no shortage of videos testifying to the global impact of Weekend In Paradise.
But for all of the success Weekend In Paradise has had, perhaps the biggest sign of things to come came at Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester in October. Despite some early sarcastic calls, within moments of the first downstroke on Jamie’s guitar the audience were firmly onside, with a cover of both The Courteeners and The Stone Roses thrown in to sweeten the deal.
Regardless of regional allegiances, Jamie Webster is armed with a set of songs that anyone can rally behind. His honest storytelling and observations of societies’ injustices will, in time, put him up there with the very best contemporary singer-songwriters. And if he can convince a Manchester crowd in the space of half an hour, that’s got to be half the battle won.