‘Now that’s Entertainment!’

Last week I was In the Crowd, Going Underground at Under the Bridge to see the legendary Bruce Foxton bassist from the band The Jam in his own band now that replicates those very hits in the band called From The Jam. Apologies I had to fit a few song titles in the paragraph too!

Alongside Bruce is Russell Hastings (Guitar and Vocals) and Mike Randon (Percussion and Drums).

Tonight’s performance was being supported by Steve Cradock of Ocean Colour Scene (who I personally love as well).

It was billed as an Up Close and Acoustic show so we were to here the hits played acoustically. Up close in the pit, as I will call it we certainly were and the acts definitely brought the acoustic!

The venue was already getting busy when I entered about 7.30pm, in anticipation for Steve Cradock. This was a much older audience than the gigs I have been to recently however the acts we were to see are that of another generation. An almost lost one at that but the music always lives on! So this was a pleasure to see a more mature crowd. Age also reflected as by the end of the gig apart from a few photos taken nearly 95% were there to appreciate the music and not to post on social media, so I hardly saw any phones taken out throughout the whole night. A throwback to how gigs use to be!

Steve Cradock came on supported by his wife and you know what they say, ‘Behind every great man is a woman’ and so too in this instance as she ably supported on vocals.

Now it was quite warm in the venue and with a nearly full venue no doubt the body warmth turned up the heat too, so much so a guy stood two men down from me fainted got up again only to faint again within a few seconds before being escorted for some medical attention. Sadly I didn’t see him again so think that was the end of his night. I will put it down to the warmth and rather than being star struck,  however as they say, ‘The show must go on’, and to be fair I don’t actually think Cradock noticed.

Steve played his own solo material of which went down very well. I would maybe have liked a couple of throwbacks to OCS but he was here solo so it was all about his current and past material. ‘The Apple’ was the song he led with and a beautiful one at that. ‘Running Away’ was a treat too. ‘On and On’, A co-written ‘Only look up when your down’ with Andy Crofts is a throwback to a Beatles sound for me so naturally enjoyed it! A couple more songs and the set ending with Transidental.

Steve had been a great support and really is a headliner in his own right. Interacting with the audience and sharing his thanks and gratitude for being able to support he headed off backstage to leave us waiting for the main act.

After a short break, stage set up and a trip to the bar for everyone From the Jam appeared. The crowd now suitably in the mood cheered. The band entering via Batman Cartoon Theme.

‘From a back catalogue, it was like a sweet shop of hits to pick from’

Being an up close and acoustic gig this wan never going to be band members jumping around the stage and so they played from their sitting positions on stools.

Looking older and wiser than their 80’s youth they had aged well and looked as enthusiastic as ever as they played out hit after hit. Such you would expect ‘Private Hell’ started us off, followed by ‘David Watts’  and ‘When we were young’ the crowd were bopping, head nodding and feet tapping away.

The mood was excitable as we reminisced about the memories these songs brought back and just the joy we had hearing these songs played live again.

‘The mood was excitable’

From a back catalogue, it was like a sweet shop of hits to pick from and they kept streaming out. ‘The Butterfly Collector’, ‘In the Crowd’ the legendary ‘Smithers-Jones’ and ‘Saturdays Kids’ played out reminding us of what kids used to get up to at the weekend rather than stuck on a computer console or facebook like they are nowadays, reminding us of our favourite shop for pick ‘n’ mix at Woolworths!

Looking at the crowd with their beer in hand still head bopping, feet tapping and now body swaying to the music. Enjoying every stroke of the guitar, every line of lyric coming out, singing along to the songs.

More songs played, more songs were sung by the crowd, the excitement continued. Especially when the big guns came out with’Eton Rifles’ and ‘A Town called Malice’ to end the set.

Offstage they walked, a baying crowd wanted more! ‘We are the Mods’ shouted out by many a brief break and out again an encore proceeded.

‘We are the Mods, We are the Mods’

‘In the City’,’Going Underground’ and ending on ‘Down In the tube station at midnight’ gave us the ending we wanted. As this was a three night residency Bruce had told us that each show would be a bit different and with the many songs not played tonight no doubt would feature the next.

A great gig to have been at I certainly enjoyed it and if you get a chance to see these musical legends then do. Book your tickets and experience FROM THE JAM for yourself. We certainly will be back to see them at the next chance we get!

See footage below courtesy of: Under The Bridge