Back in mid 1981 I borrowed a cassette tape album from the Tea Tree Gully entitled “Setting Sons”. I’m so glad I did because it remains my favourite Jam album. Released in 1979, six tracks from the album featured in From the Jam at The Gov, including “Thick and Thieves” and the single “Eton Rifles” released in 1981 with the relative success of “Going Underground” the first time the Jam entered the Top 40 in Australia I believe . Bruce Foxton is the only original member of The Jam, playing that distinctive bass sound which set The Jam apart during the punk explosion in 1977 as well as safety pins being substituted for clean jackets.
From the moment that the band appeared on stage they were electrifying, although I noticed Bruce Foxton gesture to crank up the bass two minutes into the opening song “David Watts”, immediately vastly improving the sound. Russell Hastings vocals and appearance wasn’t too dissimilar to Paul Weller, performing guitar and major vocals playing to a mighty crowded audience arena with a solid representation of the six albums and non LP singles released from ’77 to ’82.
An accoustic section was featured during the later part of the gig with all the trio seated. This comprised of the love song “English Rose” and one of the songs which Bruce Foxton wrote “Smither Jones” about a working class man losing his job so the boss can boost his personal profit, a song which in today’s world is more relevant than ever. Perhaps we can all tweet it to Scomo!
Up the tempo and we headed “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” and concluding the main set with life in a “Strangetown”. A short break and the band returned with the energetic encore trio of “In the City”, “Eton Rifles” and the iconic accidental A side “Going Underground”.
I’m sure there weren’t any fans disappointed with this rejuvenation of The Jam who’s sold out shows continue around Australia.
Complementing From the Jam was local ska band Fistful of Trojans to make it all up an enjoyable show.
(Reviewed by Damian Woodards)