If you’re British and of a certain age, chances are you’ve heard of The Jam. If not, you will have at least heard ‘A Town Called Malice’ or ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’, even if you don’t know them by name.
Being from a large town just outside London and playing in a band myself, I feel like The Jam’s music is almost sewn into my DNA; it just feels right – and I get it (even though I was only a nipper when they were in operation).
I’m not alone or unique, I’m one of hundreds of thousands of men and women up and down the country who felt, and indeed, still feel the same way. In a time where things by all accounts seemed doomed, The Jam gave hope to the angry youth and although Paul Weller and the boys went on to become one of the UK’s most successful musical exports, even today, listening to their sounds makes you feel like you’re part of some special club or secret musical society.
Combining the ferocious elements of punk with a razor-sharp rhythm and blues twist, The Jam was anything but sloppy – and they meant it, man. The Jam were musical revolutionaries; The Jam were style icons; The Jam were and yet again, still are the catalyst of that burning hope brewing in the belly of every working class individual across the nation, and beyond. The Jam are as relevant today as they ever were – perhaps even more.
Aside ‘In The City’, ‘This Is The Modern World’, ‘All Mod Cons’, ‘Setting Sons’, ‘The Gift’, the lyrics, the riffs, Weller’s belting vocal, Buckler’s fluid drumming, the bowling shoes, the nod to mod, Foxton’s furiously melodic bass lines, the Rickenbackers, Bingley Hall, the haircuts – the list goes on – is the fact that discovering The Jam is a British rite of passage, which will be passed down from generation to generation for evermore.
Why do I love The Jam? They lasted five short years but spawned a legacy that will surpass all of our lifetimes. The Jam are our band and they’re here to stay, even if they never play a note together ever again.