Lawson proves he’s ready for the big time
WEDNESDAY: If your level of success correlates with the amount of positive karma that you exude, then Jamie Lawson can expect a star-spangled future. Tonight, he played the last show of his recent Irish tour. Towards the end of his hour-and-ahalf set he took a healthy gulp from his bottled water, thanked the crowd for plucking him from the plethora of also-ran singer/songwriters out there, and told them that he would like to go and get sloshed. But he couldn't. Disguised in the crowd were important people that had just jetted in from the United States. For them, he needed to remain at his sharpest, as these days manners appeal more to potential employers than the Mick Jagger/Liam Gallagher approach.
It has been a meteoric rise for the Englishman, whose song was picked up from Youtube, and made famous by the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show in January of this year. Having a freshly signed deal with Irish Universal under his belt, he took a moment to reflect on two of the best weeks of his life. Tonight he has also eased any concerns that he can’t pen songs to equal the quality of ‘Wasn't Expecting That'; this guy has plenty in the locker to make his new album a sure-fire hit.
What Lawson has realised, and hopefully won't lose sight of due to the complacency that time can bring, is that the audience is the primary reason he's gracing these stages. He interacts with them, he introduces his songs and he explains the origins of his work. That's what people pay money to hear - it creates intimacy. He also smiles a lot, which goes a long way.
One of the stand-out songs of the evening, apart from the obvious, is Letter Not Sent while his signing-off tune, Moving In, is destined to be a crowd pleaser. Lucy Rocks also rocks.
The next year is going to be an interesting one for Lawson. Those that paid a tenner to see him this time around should appreciate outstanding value for money. His album, ‘Wasn't Expecting That' is released on April 1. A purchase highly recommended.
NEW WAVE OF IRISH TRAINERS FRIDAY: The curtain falls on another thumping Cheltenham and our Irish raiders have smashed their number of wins record, with a mighty haul of 13.
From what I hear, plenty of punters won big this time round but ultimately, what you win on horses is not going to change your lifestyle; give or take the odd exception. It's the entertainment that really counts - four days of the best jockeys partnered by the finest racing creatures produced on this planet.
What we can take from this year's Festival is that the future of training horses in this country is in very safe hands. De Bromhead, Elliott, Murphy and Nolan are part of a new generation of trainers that can pin their English counterparts to the ropes for the next quarter, or even half-century.
The good news is that we still have Aintree and a potentially star-studded Punchestown meeting to look forward to. You can raise a hoof to that.
UP TO HIS SUMMER TRICKS SUNDAY: It's with a sigh of relief that we welcomed the weekend of summer sunshine. For whatever reason, it has felt like a longer winter than usual this year, and even the young lad skipped forth into the day, grateful that his lagging jacket can be left hanging indoors. It's amazing how much these mites grow without you realising; when you are looking at something every day, you can be slow to notice change. This year he's able to reach the outside tap unassisted; flick up the lock on the front gate and with a step to boost him, can turn on and off light switches. I get the feeling these summer months are going to be busy.
FLY ON THE LABOUR ROOM WALL MONDAY: The good woman has a new guilty pleasure and it's called One Born Every Minute. For those of you not familiar with the Channel Four production, it's a fly-on-the-wall documentary on what takes place in the labour ward. Women, they will never cease to amaze me.
Having stood there twice now and had my knuckles crunched while a member of the fairer sex went through an experience that induced incomparable pain, I thought the last thing any woman would want to do is be reminded of the event. Instead, she's hooked. And so are her friends; both mothers-to-be and mothers that have been. Her friends without plans for babies, however, are still contented with the less graphic medical dramas, and stick to the more ‘ where is the love'-themed series such as Grey's Anatomy. The harsh reality of childbirth remains as distant to them now, as when they were looking at the pictures during biology class all those years ago.
The good woman tells me One Born Every Minute is to her what football is to me, only her choice of programme has a point. I nod in agreement and struggle to find a comeback to that. But that doesn't mean I ever have to watch it. She tells me she's glad about that.
Those that paid a tenner to see him this time around should appreciate outstanding value for money
The next year is going to be an interesting one for Jamie Lawson.