Article by Martin Wickers
The first Jam gig I attended was at Poplar Civic (or Town Hall) in 77. I was 16 and preferred progressive rock and hard rock to this new wave stuff. In fact, the only reason I attended was because my sister's boyfriend was the lead singer & rhythm guitarist of the support band - Stacey. They played covers of UFO, Budgie and Led Zeppelin which was right up my street. I even left the 'Civic' after the set not even bothering to see The Jam.
What a twat!
Over the next 2 - 3 years I came to love The Jam. I eventually did see them at the Michael Sobell Sports Centre in late 81. I can't remember details other than I loved it. I next saw them at the Brixton Academy (although I can't see it on the gig list). I remember running to the stage with several mates including a very good friend, Gary Carr. We were early and very close to the stage. There was a long wait and some girl/woman in front of us decided to sit on the floor. We struggled to stop her from getting trampled. The pressure and the heat when they came on eventually became intolerable for me and I had to get out. But how? When I turned round all I could see was an ocean of hot, sweaty, excited Jam fans. At Gary's suggestion I ran into the crowd hand over mouth shouting "I'm going to be sick!" Miraculously the crowd parted as if Moses had been there. I still had a great time at the back of the Academy listening to The Gift and other stuff. Wonderful! And to think - that's nearly 30 years ago.
I followed Paul into the Style Council and eventually saw them in 85 at the Albert Hall. I was with my future wife who turned her nose up at the throng in front of the stage preffering to sit in 'the Gods'. The lack of a crowd around me didn't dampen my enthusiasm and as the sound of the final chord of a song faded to silence I jumped up out of my seat and screamed at the top of my voice "Ever Changing Moods". Everyone in the Albert Hall turned and looked at me. My girlfriend wanted the earth to swallow her up. Paul looked at me and "Alright, Ever Changing Mods". The crowd went wild. I went wild. Life doesn't get much better. Thanks Paul, Rick & Bruce for some great times!