Jamie Webster has revealed the details of his sophomore album, Moments, along with his anthemic new single, ‘Going Out’.
Set to arrive on January 28th, the record sees the folk troubadour take his raw 2020 debut album We Get By to another level with the help of his band and the fuller sound of additional strings and orchestration. Webster has elevated his artistry without comprising his reputation as the poet laureate of Britain’s forgotten streets.
We Get By became the first-ever album to top the ‘UK Folk Chart’ last year and also landed at a mightily impressive number six spot in the ‘Official UK Album Chart’. However, Webster views his recent success as just the beginning rather than the pinnacle. With an inspiring underdog spirit, the raging fire in the Scouser’s belly has only become more cumbersome as his dream becomes a reality.
Webster’s rise to fame was an unconventional one. For a decade since he was 17, the musician has been playing songs around Liverpool on match day, and footage of him performing to a sea of football supporters in the centre of Madrid hours before their victory in the Champions League in 2019 spread like wildfire on social media.
In a bizarre turn of events, Webster can now boast Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as a fan of his work, which is just one of the surreal developments that have come through his recent exploits. While it’s an endeavour that still fills him with eternal joy, Webster is a serious musician and seeks to be treated the same way as if he’d had a more traditional path to success. If you want to hear a rendition of ‘Allez, Allez, Allez’, then you’ll be out of luck at any of his upcoming shows.
For Moments, Webster has taken a new approach, recruiting a full band sound and moved away from his stripped-back beginnings. The album, recorded with Manic Streets Producers producer Dave Eringa at Rockfield, captures the live energy they created at the famous Welsh residential where Oasis famously created (What’s The Story) Morning Glory.
The album arrives through Modern Sky on January 28th, and Webster is hitting the road later this year on a nationwide tour which includes a three-night residency at Liverpool’s famous Olympia Theatre. His new single, ‘Going Out’, is out now.
Get the lowdown on Moments from the man himself below.
Q&A with Jamie Webster about his new album ‘Moments’
Far Out: What was it like working somewhere like Rockfield Studios?
“Florence and The Machine had actually booked the studio there on the same days we wanted to use it, but Dave Eringa has been working at Rockfield for like 30 years, and after watching the documentary about it, I wanted to do a residential. He got in touch with the person who books all the bands for Rockfield, and it turned out Florence had booked a few and wanted to use somewhere else anyway, be nice that wouldn’t it,” he laughs.
“It all just fell in, and we did the record over 13, 14-hour days the studio. It was amazing being on an actual farm and working at such a historic studio. You can tell I was having the time of my life by listening to the record, I was tired at the end of it, but I didn’t want to come home.”
Webster enthusiastically adds, “For anyone reading this, if you think you’ve got the tools to make an album, I’d recommend going somewhere like that. It’s an experience more than anything else. I was literally waking up in the morning, walking downstairs from the bathroom, then I’d take ten steps, and I was in the studio. There was no way that you could become detached from it.”
How would you say the sound has evolved from We Get By?
“It was a lot more of a bedroom record,” Webster concedes about his debut. “That was because of where I’d come from. Obviously, I’d come as this rough and ready acoustic singer from the terraces. So to turn up in the music industry with a fully polished, brand spanking, all-singing, all-dancing debut album, where I come from, and my story would have got lost a bit.”
“So I had to be as real and bedroomy as I could be with my first album. That was the only way we could have done it. To be honest, I had no studio experience and was also a little unaware of how I like to play music.
“Because I’ve got such great players in my band at my disposal, I’d be a fool not to use them like this. The stuff I listen to is proper music. It’s Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Mamas and Papas, David Byrne’s old stuff, Travelling Wilbury’s, George Harrison, The Beatles, all eras of Dylan, Shack,” he says, pointing to the Shack T-shirt he’s wearing.
“They’ve all got loads of different instrumentals and concepts. That’s what I started to do with the album to keep it as diverse as possible, and I had a touch really because the producer I worked with really embraced that. He was more involved with the sound of the record than anything else,” Webster adds.
Do you feel like you have a point to prove as a serious artist because of the viral videos associated with Liverpool FC?
“Make no mistake, I’ve loved the work I’ve done with the club,” Webster says from the heart. “I’ve had some unbelievable experiences and gigs that most bands haven’t had. The chaos that I’ve seen in those gigs taught me everything, and I can control any fucking crowd now. But yeah, it is frustrating at times when you promote shows as no Liverpool songs and all my own music, but you still get people asking why you didn’t play them.”
Webster then takes aim at broadcasters for their lack of support, venting: “I just need support from the radio. I’ve had support from Spotify and all the other streaming platforms for ‘Days Unknown’. Now I need the radio to say, ‘You know what, this lad is selling out venues all over the place, he’s drawing big crowds, and look what it does to the crowd?”
Webster adds, “I’m not fucking having it that if any artist on the (BBC) Radio 1 A-list released any of the songs from my album, they wouldn’t get on that playlist. I just need people to recognise me as someone who can rub shoulders with the rest of the industry.”
How happy were you with the reaction to We Get By? Landing at number six in the chart and becoming the inaugural number one folk album in the UK?
“That was amazing. I think we expected top 50 when I signed the deal, but what prevented me was that I couldn’t gig after the album came out,” the 27-year-old says about the pandemic’s effect on rising artists. “I had to wait eight months before I could even do a socially distanced gig for 200 people.
“Usually, if you get a top ten album, tour, then festivals, you start to get traction, and your numbers continue to creep up. We were all in the same position, but I think that’s why I’m not in a bigger position going into the second album in a position I should be.”
How important is authenticity and telling real human stories through your songs?
“It’s real life, it’s a bit of me, it’s a bit of the environment I’ve grown up in, it’s a bit of my mates’ environment, and the things that I’ve seen from a distance. I will never try to write about a champagne lifestyle that I don’t fucking live because it’s just fake.
“It’s to make people stop and think, ‘Our life is good, I’m living the same life as him’. We’ve got to believe in ourselves first, and that’s what I’m putting into the people,” Webster emotionally adds.
“The real reason that anybody gets into this game is because they fucking love it and playing music to people. That’s me, that’s the people who I play music with, and especially all the ones that I’m fucking mates with like The Lathums, they are as fucking real as they come.”
Finally, how excited are you to play three nights at Liverpool Olympia?
“The Olympia is one of the most iconic venues in this city,” the singer says with a smile. “I’ve grew up driving into town in the car looking at that venue. It was a circus in the 1800s, and it’s fucking swimming in history. There are elephant pits underneath the stage from when it was a circus, and it’s a proper old beautiful venue,” he gleams.
“Fucking Tame Impala come and did two nights there,” he says in awe. “For me to be able to do three nights there, two of them sold out, and the Thursday one is 80%. The support from this city has never failed me.”
Jamie Webster tour dates
30th – Glasgow SWG3
1st – Newcastle, Boilershop
2nd – Leeds, Beckett Student Union
4th Birmingham, Academy 2
7th – Cardiff, Tramshed
8th – Bristol, Thekla
9th – London, Scala
11th – Belfast, Limelight 1
13th – Dublin, Academy
14th – Manchester, O2 Ritz
16th – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
17th – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
18th – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
9th – Blackpool, Empress Ballroom (with The Lathums)