Pure class - From The Jam tribute in blistering form

Blistering set by From The Jam at York BarbicanBlistering set by From The Jam at York Barbican
Blistering set by From The Jam at York Barbican

All our yesterdays from Jam tribute band

Outside in the foyer, Setting Sons of a certain age mingled thick as thieves as they awaited this Brucey bonus at York Barbican writes Cliff Edwards.

Bruce Foxton, of the era-defining trio The Jam was in the house. The bass line hero of tremendous tracks from our youth was with us. He is indeed From the Jam and always will be, no matter where he roams.

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From The Jam perform at York BarbicanFrom The Jam perform at York Barbican
From The Jam perform at York Barbican

For fans now well into their fifth decade of dedication, it’s really just as well that Weller is not part of this.

Because it’s a funny thing when you get on a bit and your musical hero has a back catalogue which dwarfs the teen nostalgia you crave, it’s actually better to listen to a good tribute band.

To call From the Jam a tribute band,though, is to do them a disservice. They’ve been together now a lot longer than The Jam ever was. And Russell Hastings, who sings powerfully and untiringly is a major force in himself.

He sings the songs the way Weller sang them and the way the fans want to hear them. His own ego as a musician and an artist doesn't get in the way of that. You could also say he knows where his bread is buttered. And it’s with The Jam.

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This tour, for which some had bought tickets up to three years ago, was to commemorate the 41st anniversary - that landmark - of the release of the Sound Affects album. Originally it was to mark an anniversary of the Setting Sons album release.

Never mind. It mattered not. Russell, prone to banter twixt tunes, told a packed auditorium he was so glad to be out and seeing smiling faces after two years. York did him and From The Jam proud. They were glad they’d made the trip, he said.

Mosh pit of burly boys arm in arm, jumping up and down unstintingly. Crowd roars and surges, singalongs but no crowd surfing, given the sciatica.

On the balcony, two men who should know better but clearly never will, danced without stopping.

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Transported, like the rest, by the tunes of their youth, when they could pogo two feet high and not two inches.

The floor below was not quite as filled before the main attraction arrived and while The Selecter, with the effervescent and eternally elegant Pauline Black performed.

More fool those who chose to stay in the bar. They make me mad, for inside, the band played on. The timeless Two Tone was tight as ever. Pure ska from the top most drawer.

The one above the silk ties and handkerchiefs. Pure style. Last train to Skaville, anyone? Certainly. All aboard the Nostalgia Express.

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