Outside the venue on a cold November night, in the center of Cambridge, I was milling among predominantly men of ‘a certain age’. All were clearly eager to get stuck into long-ago forged appreciation for the night’s gig. From The Jam, a reduced version of musicians who collectively made up the original band, The Jam, are on tour, dealing out the cherished hits as they travel. Led by original bassist Bruce Foxton and frontman Russell Hastings. Hastings is not a parody of the former lead, Paul Weller, but certainly in the same vein and captures the original pulse.
The band spins out sounds that are still tone perfect. They hit all the harmonies with technical ease and delivering the tunes that the fans long to hear. Although a somewhat rowdy, sometime raucous bunch (they are former punks after all!), they deeply appreciate the revival of songs that made a lifelong impact and take them back. However, the tracks stand the test of time though. The music is still evocative and directs the crowd where the band leads. Nothing beats an audience fully engaged and foaming for more. The night’s music built and built, song after song.
What the music delivers
Foxton is unmistakable on bass for historic songs like ‘A Town Called Malice’. Funnily, Hastings looks like Weller in his far away outline and through squinted eyes. He appears made for this new place in front of the mic, taking up Weller’s role. There was plenty of jam in this Jam. As a result, although not my normal crowd, I can fully respect and joined in singing along because, without fail, the songs and the band still impact. Even with the sole cover song of ‘Heatwave’, From The Jam nails every track without a break to the momentum. For Foxton and Hastings, its as effortless as breathing. Ultimately, the band lives up to and supplies all you would expect. Finally, every full-fledged fan smoothed out into the evening air post-concert, knowing they had gotten what they came for.
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