FROM THE JAM + CHRIS POPE – ST. PETER’S CHURCH, BRIGHTON 18.8.22
From The Jam consists of the legendary former ‘The Jam’ bass player Bruce Foxton, plus on vocals and guitars there is Russell Hastings, and Andy Fairclough is on a set of keyboards. They have toured performing an acoustic show and the tour closed in Brighton at St Peter’s Church as part of The Jam/Style Council event, ‘This Is The Modern World’ exhibition. From The Jam performed acoustic versions of a selection of songs from The Jam’s extensive back catalogue to sold out audiences.
I was indeed fortunate to have been given access to photo the two incredible nights in this extraordinary venue. The first night has been extensively reported on by the magnificent Brighton & Hove News music team, photos by yours truly, and you can read all about it HERE.
These almost intimate shows are a rare opportunity for Jam fans to hear those songs in this stripped-down fashion. And yes, it just worked!
For over 10 years From The Jam have constantly toured. They have played 100’s of headline shows in the UK since their inception in 2007. I have seen and photographed From The Jam at their double night at Concorde 2 and at their quite magnificent show at the Brighton Dome.
They’ve earned a well deserved reputation for blisteringly good live shows. Frontmen Hastings and Foxton are pure magic together and they have sealed their reputation and have carried on driving that reputation of The Jam and music from all those years ago.
From The Jam have a new album coming out on Bruce Foxtons birthday, it’s called ‘Butterfly Effect’.
The setlist for tonight virtually mirrored the previous night’s set. I say setlist, I think it was a list of songs to play, but not necessarily in that order! They jumped around the list with Foxton and Hastings pointing at the next song that they wanted to do next, and at times, asking for “any requests” and I’m pretty sure the replies from the packed in crowd were on the list. Perfect! I was lucky to share the pit with my friend Derek D’Souza, who got a great shout from Russell, “you must have a new book out!”. Derek has photographed The Jam from the early days and has a collection of photos recently published.
I had been at the first night show, Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet was in the crowd, and I had a chance to chat with Nicky Weller (who is Paul Weller’s sister and curator of ‘This Is The Modern World’ exhibition) and related an episode from when I road crewed for The Jam back in 1977 in Edinburgh. She said she would relay the story back!
Anyway, back to tonight. It was so good to see Russell back after his fairly recent heart attack and also Bruce, who earlier in the year was admitted to hospital with a potentially life threatening illness. They are back together and the magic was happening and sounding as dynamic and fresh as ever. Look after yourselves guys.
Tonight the crowd entered the seated area of the church. They were having none of it as the chairs were pushed back and the fans “congregated” at the barrier. It was packed in the venue so at a guess some 600 fans joined in with this wonderful evening. The crowd seemed to be “more up for it” than last night. The voices seemed louder, most of the crowd were up on their feet and a mosh pit opened up for the revved up classics played tonight.
The set was packed with old ones, favourite ones, forgotten about ones and yes a new one! My favourites/highlights included ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’ with a massive audience participation choir, ‘That’s Entertainment’, ‘Eton Rifles’ and of course the big hitting numbers ‘Start!’, ‘In The City’, ‘Town Called Malice’, ‘Going Underground’ and ‘David Watts’. The heat and humidity in St Peter’s went through the roof with the set closers:
Tucked in there was a beautiful song from the new album ‘Lula’. A real dig into the back catalogue with a couple of covers. This is pure quality! The humour from Russel, Bruce and Andy was super as the banter flowed and stories and memories of the past were related to us. A brilliant moment as Russell’s son, guitar tech etc, was called on stage to deliver some new dry towels.
It had been a wonderful experience to share time with these guys again and a huge thank you to Russell Hastings and also to Joe from AGMP. It was a privilege to be there for both nights. Nights I will not forget for a long time.
From The Jam have recently posted: “We are now on the right road both of us health wise and physically back in the room really looking forward to the autumn dates on The Beat Surrender Tour”.
But, from me, thank you for the last two nights! Well played From The Jam, now That’s Entertainment!
From The Jam:
Russel Hastings (lead vocals and acoustic guitars)
Bruce Foxton (bass guitar and backing vocals)
Andy Fairclough (keys)
Support this evening again came from Chris Pope of The Chords (now The Chords UK) who is highly regarded by Paul Weller who has previously stated “Chris Pope is the best songwriter of his generation”.
The Chords are made up from The Chords. They were a 1970’s British pop music group, commonly associated with the 1970’s mod revival, who had several hits, before the decline of the trend brought about their break-up. They were one of the more successful groups to emerge during the revival, and they re-formed with the four original members for a UK tour during 2010.
Tonight, Chris set about to prove the praise from Paul Weller as correct. This evening Chris seemed a little more chilled as he stepped out clutching his acoustic guitar. I had last met up with him when he visited Brighton with Chords back in November 2019 for a storming set with Department S. Read the review HERE.
St Peter’s Church was set to be an intimate surrounding with great acoustics, Chris was here to chat and play a mix of Chords classics and solo material in a set of two special gigs. He set about his set with no fuss, no extras, just him and his plugged in guitar. He smiled out and fired up ‘Listen To The Radio’. A cracking good song, top lyrics and a damned catchy chorus, he then played ‘Now It’s Gone’ to take us back in time.
I loved what Chris did with his set and performance. ‘Mutiny On The Thames’ is another class tune, “there will always be an England”. This is a quality well written tune released as a solo single, but is easily as good as the tunes released with The Chords, Chords UK.
He closed the set with ‘The British Way Of Life’ and then finished with another classic ‘Maybe Tomorrow’. Both nights saw Chris receive a massive round of applause from the people lucky enough to see him play. Top performance again from the “ex-Chord”, it’s nice to see he is still around performing as a solo artist or with Chords UK. I managed a quick chat and to say “hi” quickly when he had finished.
Indeed, I believe he will be back with Chords UK for a full show as part of the exhibition on Saturday 27th August 2022 at St Peter’s Church. Purchase your tickets HERE.