Throwback of the Week (24th January)

Sheila – Jamie T

The weekly throwback is often the hardest pick of the week for me, hitting shuffle continuously until I find a song befitting of making it onto the website, but this weeks came on the first shuffle – Jamie T’s ‘Sheila’.

The debut single of Jamie T – real name Jamie Treays – was met with critical accliam, leading to his being voted ‘Best Solo Artist’ by NME in 2007.

How memorable is that intro though? Instantly throwing us into the chorus before sampling the voice of Sir John Betjeman. It’s a song I find difficult to dislike. Still to this day it will be considered one of Jamie T’s biggest and best songs, but is there a deeping meaning behind the stories told. Due to the fantastic music, the quick, flowing, hard-hitting lyrics and melody rarely give you time to slow down and register the true, darker meaning behind the tales. With the upbeat sound and flow, the meloncholic feel around some of the lyrics can not be understated. 

One character Jamie references during the song is Jack, “Known as Smack-Jack the Crackerman,” which tells the story of a drug dealer, who’s love interest Lisa moved on to another man which leads to the most iconic line in the song, “well done Jack glug down that cider, you’re right she’s a slut and you never f*ckin’ liked her.” Despite the upbeat, almost playful tones behind the statement, it is referring to a darker path Jack is taking; escaping to the bottle with hatred and resentment.

This type of storytelling has become almost second nature now in Jamie T records, with the likes of ‘Magnolia Meloncholia’ and songs from ‘Carry on the Grudge’ telling stories of Jamie’s love as a young man. 

Words by: Dan Smith

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