Monday, January 28, 2008

1977: The Jam, In The City - Back To The '60s To Go Forward?

My older cousin went to see The Jam when they appeared at our local music venue in June 1977.

Our local newspaper, the Cambridge Evening News, got very excited about the event - mainly, it seemed, because of the band's '60s retro influences.

Jammy Treat In Store

Cambridge pop fans are getting a rare treat this Friday with the opportunity to see one of the best “new wave” groups yet spawned by the black generation - The Jam. They are appearing at the Corn Exchange, which is guaranteed to be jam-packed for the occasion.

The concert coincides with the release of their first album, “In The City”, and comes at a time when the single of the same name is making rapid chart progress.

The Jam are, to say the least, an unusual group. While they are very definitely “new wave”, they are not, never have been, and say they never will be “punk” rockers. No safety pins for these lads, they can actually play good music.

They sound so much like The Who of 1965 - and dress in a similar fashion with Mod black mohair suits and spiky hair-dos - they may well achieve the same impact as Pete Townshend’s gang have.

The Jam are: 18-year-old Paul Weller, lead guitarist, vocalist and song writer; 21-year-old Rick Buckler, drummer, and 21-year-old Bruce Foxton, bass guitar.

That first album, incidentally, is excellent. If The Jam go along the same path as The Who, purchasing a copy now would be an exceedingly good investment.

The main difference between The Jam and The Who is that The Jam don’t have a front man to belt out the songs in the way Roger Daltrey leads The Who. But The Jam put their music over with such ferocious energy that it doesn’t seem to matter…

So what did I make of the Mods and Rockers revival thingy? I liked The Jam a lot, but I was not terribly impressed with the retro scene. Said my mate Pete at school one day:

"'Ere, Andy, wot are you - a Mod or a Rocker?"

"Neither!" I snapped. "This is supposed to be the 1970s, not the 1960s!"

Throughout the '70s, we'd had the '50s Teddy Boy thing, which I rather liked. And the decade had been rather overshadowed by the '60s in many ways. But surely a '60s revival wasn't due yet?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nobody writes about the Seventies and the decade's retro stuff. Or if they do they don't put it in the same light as, say, retro in the Eighties. Interesting material - you're proving that the sun didn't shine out of the Seventies' arse and that they weren't that original. In fact far from it.

You deserve a medal!