There's still time...
Reading John Harris' piece in Mojo, about the final days of The Jam, brought back memories of the two occasions I saw one of the new wave's most blistering bands up close and personal. At Derby King's Hall in late '77, still in their matching black suits, they were promoting their rather disappointing second album 'This Is The Modern World'. Still, they played everything off the first platter so nobody got bent out of shape when Bruce Foxton took centre stage and rattled off his turgid 'London Traffic'. And as for rumours that one of our party almost missed the bus home, the 53-seater we'd hired for the night, while allegedly being serviced by Mr Weller, must remain just that - a scurrilous rumour.
Eighteen months later at Leicester De Montfort Hall they were plugging the far superior Setting Sons; the suits were long gone and the songs far better. However, something was missing; they needed to fill their sound out - a problem that three pieces, no matter how powerful, invariably encounter. It was no surprise that not long afterwards they went out on the road with a horn section. And Weller was talking between songs now; in Derby I don't think the awkward eighteen year old muttered anything other than the odd 'Alright?'
I never saw them after that. But there's time yet. John Harris doesn't think they'll ever get back together. Paul Weller is adamant they'll never get back together. I'm not so sure.