On Friday, Bruce Foxton's 'From the Jam' played a blinding gig at Barnstaple's Queens Theatre. The audience were mainly your standard 40 and 50 something males - short hair, neatly dressed, polo shirts but with also a small number keeping the faith in sharp mod shirts and shiny shoes.
Jam bass lines like a crazed automaton on speed, suited and booted, and occasionally leaping in the air like he did 30 years ago.
Russell Hastings, the lead singer and guitarist, looks a bit of a nerd but is a more than adequate replacement for Paul Weller. He started the gig by urging the audience to get out of their seats and move to the front - and they didn’t need much encouragement. The band machine-gunned through a succession of the Jam's greatest hits. The audience was euphoric - pogoing and waving their arms in the air. The biggest responses were for David Watts, Eton Rifles and That's Entertainment. "We are the mods, we are the mods, we are the mods, we are the mods", the crowd chanted over and over.
The audience loved the material, loved Foxton and were egged on by Hastings. Foxton's bass playing was pumped-up and faultless, and Hastings delivered Weller's songs perfectly.
All too soon it was time for encores ... Down in the tube station at midnight, Going underground, Start, and more. Probably just as well that it all had to finish in the end, though ... All that pogoing is not good for 50 year old hearts - But it was definitely a great night for everyone who was there.
And here is the real thing - including a glimpse of Poly Styrene and an introduction by Tony Wilson (both now dead):