From the Jam
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From the Jam Evoke, Chelmsford. 28/03/2013

The latest in the Evoke last Thursday of the month gigs and a complete contrast to the previous month, Sham 69. Don’t get me wrong Sham was ok but the punters didn’t turn out. You can always tell how many people are going to be there due to how many people are in the Fleece for a pre gig drink, there were quite a few.

I have heard some good reports of the Bruce Foxton led band, so I couldn’t understand some of the negative comments on the local forums. People are always harking back to when they saw all of these old bands back in the 70’s, to be truthful, I have seen most of these bands and can’t remember much about them apart from whether I had a good time or not. So when you get a chance to see the Jam with one of the original members, who not as iconic as Paul Weller, but was not far from it. You should go and just enjoy the moment. As you can probably tell I enjoyed the night quite a lot. We missed the support, a young mod band called the Sandpilots. I heard very good reports about them though and will endeavour to see them sometime.

When From the Jam hit the stage I think that Evoke must have nearly been full, there seemed a lot more people there than the Buzzcocks gig last year. The band gave you exactly what you wanted, Bruce Foxton still doing his star jumps, maybe not as high but still lots of energy, the new lead singer Russell Hastings in the Weller role, twitching and seemingly full of nervous energy as the great man himself and Mark Brezezki taking over from Rick Buckler. There was also a chap on keyboards who seemed to play the tambourine all through the gig. They started with “Down in the tube station” and went through a set with songs that you can’t really go wrong with, “Modern World” “David Watts” “Butterfly Collecter” “In the City” “Eton Rifles” and all the songs that made the Jam one of the best this country as ever produced.

There were also a couple of new songs, “Number Six” being the one I know. A fine song in that power poppy, blue eyed soul of the new mod sound. It really was a good night, I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen for a while and it was a very relaxed atmosphere. It was one of those weekends as I met a lot of old mates for the first time in a long time on the next night at the Woolpack beer fest as well. The gig came to an all too soon finish and if the owners had any sense they would sort out some decent beer. The Aspalls had ran out when we got there leaving only Stella or Bud, no bitter or Guinness. I say this as I was with another 4 people, all are drinkers. The music at the end of the gig was good and would have got better, starting of with reggae and when we were walking out it was to the strains of Northern Soul. We would have stayed for another couple of hours but instead ended up spending a lot more money in the Fleece but at least the beer was drinkable there. The Sex Pistols experience is the next one on the 25th of April so hopefully see you there.

Duncan, March 2013.