Barrington Theatre, Ferndown

From The Jam

Tonight’s gig (for me), first and foremost means a new venue. I’m impressed – free parking and 2 minutes walk from the door! The Barrington Theatre (Ferndown) has that whole “school gym/local youth club” look and feel to it. On those grounds alone I wonít dismiss it – far from it, they’ve only gone and booked one of the Premier touring bands on the circuit.

Early arrivers get the chance to witness openers and local boys Power Thief. I’ve been tipped off they’re similar to The Strypes-on that recommendation alone I stick around. This youthful quartet produce a fine set of clangy Indie/Garage Rock and waste no time in making their mark. A couple of originals are followed by their first cover, The Ramones “Rockaway Beach”. Jacob (lead) this early on displays a competence way above his tender years. The Strypes are one of 3 influences I see early on (Jake Bugg and Miles Kane) being the others – however, you the listener can decide. A track called “She’s In Love with Herself” is a set highlight, while “Quicksand” (Kane) is another of their competent covers. With a “Moddy” crowd in the room it was nice to hear The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright” done in such a powerful way. And what better way to end than with the Kingsmen classic “Louie, Louie”. On this evidence, Power Thief are finding their feet, but a gig this size won’t do them any harm. And an appreciative audience give them decent applause and I look forward to their musical maturity.

Power Thief
Power Thief 12

Next up are EYRE (formerly Details Below). A less obvious moniker but one you won’t forget in a hurry! A female fronted Indie band Eyre produce a wall of sound early on with some strong, crisp hitting (Sam) and a competent bassist in Matt. The vocals of Maria are a searing delight, although her softer musings remind me a little of Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries). After 3 or 4 originals we get a great cover of “Molly’s Chambers” (KOL). At this point however I’m confused who’s playing (lead) guitar. Bailey early on performs the intricacies, while the latter part of the set is dominated by Tom. Maria is also sounding a bit samey. I just feel this is a band crying out to be a 4 piece. They end on a highlight though and give an extended version of “Whole Lotta Love”. They too leave to good applause.

Eyre 1234

And so to the headliners. Fresh from a TV appearance the previous morning Bruce (Foxton) and the guys arrive onstage; ready to plug material from new LP “Smash The Clock”, and to take us once more down memory lane. Where better to start then than “Town Called Malice”. Straight away a small pocket of the audience are bouncing like it’s 1982! If you’re a steadfast Jam fan this is your dream setlist. “To Be Someone” soon follows, finding this crowd in early good voice. “David Watts” gets a longer beginning than usual while Russell Hastings (guitar/vox) encourages the “Oi’s” to the intro to “Pretty Green” – he quite literally has us eating out of the palms of his hands as he smiles throughout.

“The Butterfly Collector” takes things down a notch yet the more energetic still keep on moving. “But I’m Different Now” ups the ante somewhat before “Smithers Jones” allows Bruce to take centre stage. “Boy About Town” becomes simply a prelude to a truly wild “When you’re Young”. Russell is at pains to explain how nice it is to play a venue a little off the beaten track, rather than the big cities. Clearly it hasn’t put their army of fans off – tonight is a sell-out. “Saturday’s Kids” is delivered with real gusto before Russell introduces new single “Now the Time Has Come”. With decent exposure on BBC Radio 2 it would appear most here are already familiar with the song. Another newbie “Pictures and Diamonds” gets an equally good response. While it’s great to hear the classic Jam songs it’s refreshing to know the guys are still capable of writing good new material.

From The Jam
From The Jam 1234

Back to the hits then! “That’s Entertainment” sees this whole room join in while “Liza Radley” gets a welcome addition to the set tonight (usually only used as a soundcheck song). “Start” follows and gets the crowd singing once more while Russell encourages the whole room to bounce, with an energetic run through “Slow Down”. “Man In The Corner Shop” allows us all breathing space before set closer “The Eton Rifles” finds this crowd at its most energetic. It’s another big singalong which doesn’t disappoint!

We are kept waiting for a good 5 minutes for the encore, fuelling the speculation that a certain Mr. Weller might appear onstage on their return. Rapturous clapping and foot stamping and an anthemic “We Are the Mods” brings the band back on. With the Weller rumour quoshed the guys continue with their set. “Down In The Tube Station” fuels the lunacy down the front as more moshers join the throng. “In The City” follows and once again goes down a storm. We know what’s coming – “Going Underground” is their final tune of the night. It’s all too much for 2 punters who “sort things out amicably”, which is such a shame. For me, this has been arguably the best From the Jam performance I have ever witnessed. A great vibe in the room, great sound and a band playing at their absolute peak. If I never see them again (pardon the pun) I’ll know I saw their best show ever. That however, is unlikely with their busy tour schedule covering the miles of Britain far and wide. “Smash The Clock” deserves its place on the record shelves and this is a band who aren’t going away quietly – and long may that continue!

Town Called Malice
To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have a Nice Time)
David Watts (The Kinks cover)
Pretty Green
The Butterfly Collector
But I’m Different Now
Boy About Town
When youíre Young
Saturday’s Kids
Now the Time Has Come
Pictures and Diamonds
That’s Entertainment
Liza Radley
Slow Down (Larry Williams cover)
Man in the Corner Shop
The Eton Rifles

Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
In the City
Going Underground



Words by Ross A Ferrone.
Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery.

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