[MUSIC ~ UK]
Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Tue 24 Sep.
After performing memorable concerts in and 2008 and 2016 , From The Jam celebrate their third visit to Adelaide with a full house at The Gov. Sell-outs have been common on this tour; given that The Jam made only the merest ripple in the Australian music public’s consciousness back in the day, this can only be due to the growing reputation of this band’s singularly brilliant shows, passed by word-of-mouth from those who were there to those who weren’t. The audience numbers have improved with each appearance and tonight it is most definitely standing room only.
The band emerges to a roar of approval and, after a screech of Rickenbacker feedback, proceedings start with David Watts, a Kinks’ tune that The Jam made their own on their matchless All Mod Cons album. Everyone joins in. The Modern World comes next and from here it is obvious to all that the band has lost none of its edge or accomplishment. “We told you we’d come back,” says front man Russell Hastings. Much has been written about Hastings being an almost perfect man for the job, and it is difficult to argue anything different. The evocative Town Called Malice never fails to conjure up feelings and thoughts from 1982 in this writer’s mind.
Bruce Foxton’s bass work is as prominent and stylish as ever; he possesses seemingly boundless energy for the task yet never misses a note. Mike Randon, like Hastings, proves to be a brilliant selection – his drumming is spot on. Hastings’ vocals and guitar are fabulous. The mix is OK; the guitar isn’t even close to being loud enough.
Unsurprisingly, the set features a continuous procession of modern classics. The peerless The Butterfly Collector, Saturday’s Kids, When You’re Young and so many others are manna from heaven for this crowd of passionate fans.
The halfway point sees a short, sit-down acoustic section. It’s a treat to hear Liza Radley amongst the more obvious choices.
Things heat up with Down In The Tube Station at Midnight which, once again, has the whole room singing. Every word.
Having such an impressive body of work from which to choose is a great advantage but it would be for nothing if the songs weren’t executed with care, precision and energy. From The Jam demonstrate in spades that they have the ability to pull this off.
Another cracker, Strange Town signals the ‘end’ of the show. A short break leads to a well curated encore that features the searing Eton Rifles and Going Underground as the highlights and finale. No-one wants to leave.
After a top-notch 90 minutes the band signs off with a promise to see us again soon. Count the days.
Image courtesy of David Robinson