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From The Jam

© Warren Meadows

From The Jam
Cambridge Corn Exchange

From The Jam is made up of the former The Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, vocalist and guitarist Russell Hastings, drummer Mike Randon, and Andy Fairclough on Hammond and piano.

Hastings has been playing with Foxton as frontman since 1982 (when The Jam split) and has the passion,  skill and energy to earn that spot, in fact unless you were a total hardcore fan from the beginning, you wouldn’t actually think he had never been part of the group. He has oodles of mod charisma and was brilliant. I’ve never been to a gig with so many guitar changes, however it was a delight to see and hear.

Randon is a solid, efficient drummer who looks at total ease and Fairclough certainly is enjoying his time on the stage with these guys.

It’s the tour celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Jam’s third studio album ‘All Mod Cons’ and playing it in its entirety on the tour.  You get to hear ‘Down in The Tube Station at Midnight’, ‘A Bomb in Wardour Street’, plus the tracks that only featured on the US release: ‘Billy Hunt’, ‘Mr Clean’

It was awesome to hear a bass guitar properly for a change too, it’s often put too far in the background but with Foxton’s credentials, it was up front and well appreciated. Foxton and Hastings have a real chemistry, not only between themselves on the stage but with the music and the crowd and it rippled through the audience. As you can imagine it was an older crowd but their energy for the music made it feel as though they were a bunch of 20 years olds.

It really was a celebration of the album and their execution of it was spot on taking us all back to that era. If you are a The Jam fan or into the mod era, or just into good music then you really need to check this tour out, it’s a 40th anniversary album tour and won’t be repeated. Of course, they treated us to ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ‘A Town Called Malice’ – it had to be done and the crowd went crazy for it.

The support group ‘Nine Below Zero’, a rocky rhythm and blues band with a brilliant harmonica player. You could tell these were experienced musicians. How many bands have the confidence to open a show with a track with no singing – these guys do! It was too short a set, but I enjoyed what I saw and seriously want to go and see them at their own gig. The drummer was totally amazing with some seriously great drum riffs, I could watch him on his own.

A great night with two fabulous bands at a super venue!

For more information on the bands check out www.facebook.com/FromTheJam & www.facebook.com/ninebelowzero. 

To see what else is on at the venue visit www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk.