Wednesday, February 13, 2008
From The Jam: A Dream Come True
Who needs Paul Weller - long live the Jam! Don't get me wrong: In my opinion, he is one of the most talented living songwriters and deserves every award the music world has to offer. It's just that this Saturday night, when a teenage dream came true and I heard the Jam live, heard "Eton Rifles," "Private Hell" or "In the Crowd," I did not miss him a second. Russell Hastings, who has to fill the big shoes, does a great job, staying close to how Paul sang the tunes in melody as well as in timbre. In great British understatement he doesn't try to be Paul, nor does he show too much ego and attitude. Hastings delivers a solid, honest job, and one can only hope that he is as gifted a songwriter as a singer/guitar player. Bruce Foxton, whom I had the honor to talk to after the show, says they have new material that he believes is as strong as the Jam's stuff. Rick Buckler says hello to D-J Stieger. The new man on second guitar and keyboards, Dave Moore, is the quiet man in the background, precise and precious. He is also ready to testify that I sang along every single song. "Saying find here enclosed one son, one medal, and a note to say he won." Take that, America. Who says songs grow old? People do, but some of them get better, also. And yeah, we sang "We Are the Mods," but tonight we were.
The Blender theater at Gramercy is, surprisingly - a stylish old cinema, reconverted into a live theatre, bit like The Palace in St.Gallen, but that tad bit grittier, British working class. There was Debbie Harry and a few people from VH1 from New York, but the rest - xcpt me an d. - was all british blokes, the sort you would wanna see the Jam with. Quentin was missing, Brett was there (kudos!). Ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell warmed the audience up with some dirty Stranglers versions (more about his show see below). FTJ say, they will have a record out with new material by early 2009. First, the weather proof Brits go to enjoy Australian summer.
That guy from Blondie, Bruce Foxton, the bloke who sang 'we are the mods' with me' and Rick Buckler in New York.