I never miss the chance to hear Weller’s words Live so I duly headed to the Students Union to see From The Jam.
The group are a sort of tribute act who cover all The Jam tunes but boast the original bassist as their main attraction.
As die hard fans know, The Jam were an English mod revival/punk rock band during the 1970s and early 1980s . The three man line up consisted of Paul Weller on lead vocals and guitar, Bruce Foxton on bass, and Rick Buckler on drums.
This tour their almost namesakes were playing the Setting Sons Album to celebrate its 40th Anniversary. And, as always, it was a fabulous opportunity to hear the crashing guitar sounds of the “best band in the fucking world.”
Credit to the brilliant Bruce for bringing back those Modfather melodies – leaving Mr Weller to play out his own trailblazing musical journey as he creatively adds to the ever growing back catalogue.
To be honest, it irks my soul when some gig goers complain that my main man Paul only plays mostly new stuff at his concerts.
Well, no shit Sherlock. I actually do go to listen to his fresh material, all be it peppered with the occasional blasts of nostalgia – which I also adore.
If I want to hear just the old stuff only then I’ll go and see…From The Jam. Yeah, yeah, that right, the clue is in the title.
So there I was. And we sang, shouted, and stomped our way through the fourth studio album with gusto. The 1979 disc is not my favourite of their albums, but it does contain some top tunage.
I absolutely love ‘The Girl on the Phone’ for it’s cheekiness, the so true ‘Saturday’s Kids,’ ‘Thick as Thieves’ is yet another soundtrack of my life song. And who doesn’t like the, contemporary at the time, classic, ‘Eton Rifles’ – Hello Hooray!
For me though, ‘The Butterfly Collector’ is The Jam at their best, especially in the slower song stakes. I only have to hear the first few chords to delight in the melody, the sentiment, and Paul’s outstanding lyrics.
Yes, all that soundtrack to my life stuff again…and they didn’t bloody play it!
But they banged out most of the Setting Sons tracks, plus some old favourites. The foot tapping Going Underground,’ the gritty ‘Town Called Malice,’ and the song that just perfectly sums up life in under four minutes, ‘That’s Entertainment.’
Mind you, I’m glad they stuck to the script and played only The Jam songs. In my book, there’s only one thing worse than a dodgy tribute group – and that’s one that plays their own tunes.
Us punters come to relive our misspent youth and jump around to the songs we know and love. Not have to stand there listening to their modern day take on our Memory Lane music – however good it is.
So thank you to the fabulous Mr Foxton and the rest of the boys for a cracking Saturday night listening to Weller’s words at a packed venue in the city.
See what I did there? And the band actually finished with that one. A blistering rendition of The Jam’s first single that threw them onto the music scene in 1977.
‘In the City’ on the telly was also my first glimpse of that angry young man Paul Weller who would later blow all other musicians of the time out of the water to become the iconic Modfather.
This was the exact moment that I fell madly in love with the chippy, chewing gum chomping, cigarette smoking, young lead vocalist, who played a mean guitar – wearing a sharp black suit and tons of attitude.
Thanks From The Jam, you were fab and I like you a lot, but my soul still belongs to the original Mr Weller.
And I so can’t see that changing any time soon because this love is like a ‘Heatwave.’
It’s burning in my heart Babe!
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist.
She blogs about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good