Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Fri 16 Sep.
It’s a big Friday night in Adelaide for some folks. The faithful have put on their Fred Perrys, polished their Doc Martens and made their way down to The Gov to see their second-favourite band. From The Jam are finally back in Adelaide and a good-sized crowd eagerly awaits the show.
Things get off to a cracking start with a rip-roaring version of Town Called Malice, which immediately has the audience singing along. This is followed by Pretty Green, and it is clear that the punters have come along ready and willing to party. Lead vocalist Russell Hastings apologises for the band not coming to Adelaide during last year’s tour, and says how happy the band is to be here this evening. Hastings has, quite obviously, had some giant-sized Jam shoes to fill, but he does an admirable job and is very much making the performances of these songs his own. He seems to be much more his own man than when the band was last here in 2008. In addition, his guitar work is perfectly suited to the songs. Fire and skill, indeed. Bruce Foxton looks and sounds in great nick, and in partnership with drummer Mike Randon provides the pulsating and precise rhythm section that people associate with those brilliant numbers released back in The Jam’s heyday. The classic single When You’re Young is followed by a quick crowd rendition of “We Are The Mods”. No surprise there.
Foxton takes the lead vocals for David Watts and 1979’s Smithers-Jones, another track from the golden era that was The Jam’s middle-period. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight almost lifts the roof off. It gives Landon a great chance to shine on the drums.
The singing from the gallery continues through the whole show, and even the new song, Now the Time Has Come, goes down well with the masses. The great songs just keep on coming, and they are executed brilliantly. The Butterfly Collector, English Rose, That’s Entertainment, Strange Town; this is the stuff of dreams for many. The joy that is being felt throughout the room, both on and off-stage, is palpable. The set closes with the peerless Eton Rifles.
It’s a pity that the evening has to end. After a three song encore, comprising In The City, Saturday’s Kids and Going Underground, Foxton, Hastings and Landon bid us farewell but promise to return within a year or two. The lights go up and it’s 2016 again. Shame.
It’s extremely unlikely that the world will ever see The Jam play again. But, as long as we have From The Jam, the true believers will be happy enough.
by David Robinson
Images courtesy of David Robinson
Image courtesy of David Robinson