Jimothy Lacoste @ Bodega

Fresh from releasing the glimmering synth track “Fashion”, Camden’s Jimothy Lacoste (real name Timothy Gonzales) brought his eclectic mixture of hook-filled pop, impressive dancing and outrageous glasses to Nottingham’s Bodega.

Having sold out the 220-capacity venue in impressive time, a good night was always on the cards. As the clock struck 9, the big screen behind the stage began to show footage of Lacoste’s low budget music videos – probably one of the biggest catalysts of his recent successes. The happy-go-lucky 19-year old’s videos frequently show him out and about, often on public transport, having a good time. Armed with the catchphrase of “Life is getting quite exciting”, he has claimed that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and that his priority is to celebrate the small things in life. As the video came to an end, the crowd were surely ready.

The set itself consisted of tracks old and new, loved and unheard: all holding the infectious optimism that makes Lacoste so likeable, and all paired with Lacoste’s high tempo dancing. Lacoste began his set with the dead-pan ‘DRUGS’ and tongue and cheek ‘Future Bae’, which immediately got the crowd going – who were quick to chant “Yes Jimothy!” in unison when the moments arose. With everyone bouncing to the beat and chanting the catchy choruses back to the stage, it was clear that the audience weren’t one-off listeners prior to the gig. Although the crowd were fabulous throughout, ‘I Can Speak Spanish’ garnered the greatest reception, with the floor almost shaking under the weight of the jumping Bodega audience.

He wrapped his set up after 40 mins, but when the entire crowd chanted his name for two or three minutes, he re-emerged to perform one final song- new single ‘Fashion’, much to the delight of everyone there. During this final track, he invited members of the crowd to join him on stage. Clearly the audience didn’t need much encouragement, as things soon got hectic with Lacoste struggling to move around. Although mildly chaotic, this was a great end to the evening – with everyone heading home with a smile on their face.

In the hope of congratulating him for putting on such an enjoyable set, we took off in search of Lacoste and were fortunate enough to find him waiting outside the packed downstairs bar. His optimistic and laid-back stage persona was no different from the man we met: with such charisma and effortless charm, it’s easy to forget that he’s only 19. While we thanked him for his energetic show, he thanked us for having a good time. The age-old cliché that ‘artists are nothing without their fans’ just didn’t seem to fit the bill here. Having witnessed such an enthusiastic crowd, I pondered how integral his near-cult following has been to his rise.

I’d heard that after some of his shows, he had been known to go out and socialize with his fans. While many artists thank and value their fans with exciting live shows or positive messages on social media, Lacoste goes further. He engages with his fans, he parties with his fans, and it no doubt enhanced his shows. Normally, after the initial delight of seeing my favourite artists thrive, a little part of me is saddened when artists and bands move on to bigger stages and bigger venues. The intimacy that makes the small venues so electric may never be experienced again, but with Lacoste you feel the party will only get bigger. His future, like his jeans, is bright.

Photography by Ollie Grove and Patrick Hinton