From The Jam – Nottingham Rock City, Tuesday December 4
For anyone who witnessed From The Jam’s triumphant performance at the Rescue Rooms in May, last night came with dangerously high expectations. Could original members Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, along with vocalist Russell Hastings and second guitarist Dave Moore, rekindle the magic once again, or was that springtime gig a unrepeatable fluke?
This time round, instead of blasting us with an opening salvo of classics, the band bravely eased us in with a couple of album tracks. For the first hour or so, they explored the best of their back catalogue, with an emphasis on the golden 1978-80 mid-period. Rather than being milked for easy nostalgia points, we were reminded that The Jam were always firmly about the music.
As the set progressed, the energy levels increased. B-sides such as The Butterfly Collector and So Sad About Us gave way to the big crowd pleasers: a punchy A-Bomb In Wardour Street, a razor-sharp Start, and the ever-resonant Strange Town. Later and lesser hits were conspicuous by their absence.
By the time we reached The Eton Rifles and Going Underground, Rock City was on fire, as veterans relived their glory days and curious younger admirers got to see what the fuss was all about. Passionately and precisely delivered by Hastings, Paul Weller’s extraordinarily articulate lyrics retained all of their righteous power.
If your idea of a rock anthem extends no further than “Ruby-Ruby-Ruby-Ruby”, then last night was proof positive that, for some of us at least, The Jam will always rule supreme.