Friday, March 09, 2007

The Jam to reform (minus Paul Weller)

After splitting in 1982, original Jam members Rick Buckler (drums) and Bruce Foxton (bass guitar) are to reform for a series of "intimate" gigs followed by the release of a new album. Paul Weller (lead singer, guitarist & song writer), who has had a successful post-Jam career with The Style Council and as a solo artist won't be joining them.
This is a bit like restaging Hamlet without the prince. Weller was the driving force of the band, without him The Jam isn't really The Jam. I believe that Weller regards such reunions as a "sad" exercise in nostalgia and I think he's right. See here for a news report. Do you welcome this reunion? Who would you like to see reform, or not?


Gary Brady said...

Two slices of bread and no jam, eh? You can't blame the other two. The Police are at it too. (I'm off to see Focus in MK next Tuesday. only oen component missing there. It's not all nostalgia anyway by any means).

Exiled Preacher said...

The thing is that the Jam were an angry young man's band, railing against the iniquities of Thatcher's Britian - Eton Rifles, Going Underground, Town Called Malice etc. I was an idealistic, stroppy leftie once so I could identify with all that youthful energy.

I still like the old songs, they stand up well. But the Jam just won't work as a middle-aged outfit. I can't blame the other two, but a renunion doesn't seem right somehow, certainly not without Weller.

Anonymous said...

Chaps, the reunion is not a full Jam reunion. To be fair, Weller has pissed on the legacy of the Jam but Jam fans want to hear the songs played live. So what we're getting is two thirds of the original line-up taking the music to the fans - to the people that matter. Weller has no regard for nostalgia but his recent albums have been non-starters. My money is on Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler. The signs are here - their 20-date UK tour is almost completely sold out (without Paul Weller). It's not about the frontman, it's all about the songs and what they mean to the fans. The fans deserve better than to be snubbed royally by Weller. I think, in the long run, he might regret the day he insulted the very thing he created. Not convinced? Try this -

Blogmaster! said...

To a point I agree with the last post by anonymous. Weller could well regret, but he was then and probably still is now - arrogant, but I still regard him as one of Britain's finest songwriters (he's had some turkeys, but who hasn't?)
However, watch this space, he said he'd never play is Jam and Council songs at concerts, but he yielded to that some time ago around the acoustic gigs. Therefore, if he wants to play Jam songs - then do it as The Jam!
It's not cabaret Mr. Weller, The Jam reforming - That's Entertainment!

Anonymous said...

First Night: From The Jam, The Zodiac, Oxford

Grown men wipe away tears with return of idols

By Pierre Perrone
Published: 03 May 2007
The Independent Newspaper

Between 1979 and 1982, The Jam were second only to The Police in the affections of the great British public.

While the Police's frontman, Sting, played Ace Face in Quadrophenia, the Franc Roddam film based on the 1973 Who album, Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler looked and played sharp and spearheaded the Mod revival of the late Seventies. Their very British subject matter also inspired the kind of fan loyalty subsequently associated with The Smiths and the Stone Roses.

When they broke up after 18 top-40 singles, grown men wept. Worse, throughout his Eighties' years with the Style Council and his subsequent solo career, Weller barely acknowledged the Jam's glittering songbook, despite its obvious influence on the Britpop of Oasis, Cast and Ocean Colour Scene. So the decision by original members, Foxton and Buckler, to revisit their glory years with the help of Jam aficionados Russell Hastings and Dave Moore seems a wise if calculated move.

Certainly, on the opening night of their British tour, The Zodiac is jam packed as they start with the title track of The Gift, the last album The Jam released. The Gift is also the name of the group Buckler formed with Hastings and Moore two years ago, though the introduction of Foxton, always a sterling lieutenant to Weller, into the equation has lifted the whole From The Jam venture.

Wearing a black suit and a black and white polka-dot shirt, Foxton bounces all over the stage and does one of his trademark jumps while they impeccably segue from "The Modern World" into "To Be Someone". His melodic, muscular bass playing anchors the band, and he clearly relishes being reunited with Buckler on drums.

When Foxton trades verses with Hastings on a great version of The Kink's "David Watts", he sings the tabloid-baiting "News of the World" and excels on the Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin vignette "Smithers-Jones". But what of Hastings, who has to fill the shoes of the Modfather himself? He has the glottal stop vowels and vocals down to a T, while his choppy guitar playing and his manic stare bring to mind Wilko Johnson of pub rockers Dr Feelgood.

From The Jam pay tribute to their other Sixties heroes The Who with a chiming cover of "So Sad About Us" but the mostly forty-something audience are here to relive their youth and sing along to "That's Entertainment", "Start!", and the still relevant "Little Boy Soldiers".

No one seems to miss Weller, who during his time fronting The Jam had an ability to engage with his audience unmatched by any of the people he inspired but has been lost in Steve Marriott and Steve Winwood retroland of late. After "The Butterfly Collector", Foxton, Buckler and Co romp home through "The Eton Rifles" and "Going Underground", and encore with "In The City", "Mr Clean", the Motown-esque "Town Called Malice", and the still genuinely arresting "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight". All the Jam hits and more - mission accomplished.