Thursday, November 16, 2017
BRUCE FOXTON/RUSSELL HASTINGS - "FROM THE JAM LIVE"
REVIEW BY: ALAN HOLLOWAY
So when is a tribute band not a tribute band? It's a tricky question sometimes, as the longer life goes on the more members of a band will leave, rejoin, split up, reform and go off to form rival iterations of the same band. I mean, we all know that John Coglan's Quo isn't Status Quo because there's no Rossi or Ross, similarly Oliver/Dawson Saxon. There would be no Iron Maiden without Steve Harris, so I guess it really boils down to key personnel, and in the case of The Jam that's Paul Weller.
From The Jam have been delighting peiople on the live circuit for some years now, and although they have 'From The' tacked on to the band name they at least feature original Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, which for me lends them plenty of legitimacy. Having seen them myself, it also helps that they are a bloody good live band.
'From The Jam Live' doesn't throw any surprises at the listener, comprising of a robust 12 tracks, most of which will be familiar to even casual Jam fans. For newcomers to the band the most pleasant surprise will be Russell hastings, who may well be the perfect fit for the music in lieu of Weller himself. He's got the attitude, the accent, the intonation.... everything you want, really, To hear him belt out 'Down In A Tube Station At Midnight' with Foxton twiddling away on the bass behind is a real joy. the sound quality is beautifully clear, and whilst the songs sound very like they did in the studio, there's still a live rawness that retains a nice edge, emphasized on a six and a half minute version of 'The Eton Rifles' that closes the gig.
From well known classics like 'Going Underground' and 'A Town Called Malice' through to lesser know but still classics like 'The Butterfly Collector' and 'Smithers Jones' this is a fine collection of Jam songs perfromed by guys with talent and passion. I thouroughly reccommend that if you liek The Jam you pick this up and then go and see them on tour.