FROM The Jam have been re-igniting youthful memories for many a middle aged man and woman for a decade, while also picking up new fans along the way.
When they formed in 2007, there were certainly some sneers from those old enough to have witnessed Weller, Foxton and Buckler on stage together; convinced this was nothing more than a tribute band featuring the bass player, the drummer for a brief time, and fronted by a Weller wannabe.
But ten years on, if this band have not won over the doubters they never will.
Russell Hastings is no Weller stand in. A Jam fan since his youth, he enjoys every minute on stage, and his passion and energy for the music is patently clear.
As for Mr Foxton, he obviously possesses some elixier of life. He looks little different to the Bruce this author remembers from stages in Birmingham, Stafford, Leicester, London and Poole back in the day. He may be in his early 60s but he can still manage the trademark jump, even if not be quite as high as of old, and his bass playing also remains as sharp as ever.
This latest tour marks the 35th anniversary of The Jam’s final album The Gift. Those who claim it as their favourite Jam album will be few and far between. That probably explains why they only played five tracks from it at The Assembly in Leamington – and fortunately The Planner’s Dream Goes Wrong was not among them.
Happy Together, Carnation, Ghosts, the title-track, and of course Town Called Malice, slotted in alongside fan favourites, including storming opener Down In a Tube Station at Midnight, a beefed-up That’s Entertainment, and rollicking The Eton Rifles.
Young, older, and England’s World Cup winning rugby captain Martin Johnson all sang along as one.
Paul Weller has remained steadfast that there will never be a Jam reunion, but then who really needs one?
* From The Jam are captured doing what they do best, on the does what it says on the tin, From The Jam Live!
The 12-track album comes ten years after the release of live DVD A First Class Return. There’s no doubting the group have become tighter and better as the years roll by.
There are no surprises – the aforementioned favourites are joined by others including singles In The City, This is the Modern World, David Watts, Start and Going Underground, b-sides The Butterfly Collector and Smithers Jones, and Saturday’s Kids.
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