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Sunday, 6 September 2015

Fire and Skill (6CD Boxset) - The Jam (October 30th 2015)


1.) Starting with an early gig at London’s famous 100 Club from 1977, the show featured took place 10 months after they first played the venue in November 1976, and was recorded for broadcast on American radio ahead of the trio’s inaugural visit to US in October 1977 for a six-date tour.

Bootlegs of the show have been around for years.




2.) A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of the 2nd album – ‘This Is The Modern World’. This was The Jam’s sixth live show of the year and one of four low-key shows in the capital to fanfare their new ‘News Of The World’ single under the banner ‘The London Blitz’.



I saw them on The Modern World Tour at The Greyhound, Croydon. Support band for the tour was New Hearts who would of course go on to become Secret Affair.


3.) Reading University – Feb 1979. Playing material from their breakthrough album ‘All Mod Cons’, this was The Jam’s first live appearance of 1979, and found the band in a radically different place to their showcase at the Music Machine 12 months before. In that time, their third album, ‘All Mod Cons’, had been released to critical acclaim, and their status as one of the New Wave’s most musically substantial and exciting bands had been secured. And Weller was still only 20 years old...
 

It's funny mentioning the New Hearts earlier because this gig at Reading University was the gig that Secret Affair made their live debut.

4.) Newcastle City Hall – October 1980, previewing songs from forthcoming album ‘Sound Affects’. In the time between the show at Reading University (on Disc 3) and this appearance at Newcastle City Hall 20 months later, there had been more extraordinary developments in the group’s world. ‘Setting Sons’, their fourth album, had given them a Top 3 hit with ‘The Eton Rifles’, which was followed in February 1980 with the stirring Number 1 single, ‘Going Underground’. After three years on Polydor, The Jam had finally become the biggest group in the UK.




5.) London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais – December 1981. Part of The Jam’s four consecutive nights, previewing material from the forthcoming final album ‘The Gift’. The shows took in the innovative form of a ‘60s soul revue, showcasing new acts including Bananarama, Department S and TV21.



On the December 1982 release of the first ever live album from The Jam, Dig the New Breed, three songs on Side One are taken from the 14th December show at the Hammersmith Palais - Start, Big Bird and Set the House Ablaze. I'm guessing that the show in the Boxset is this same show.

6.) One of the band’s final ever gigs at Wembley Arena – December 1982. Late in 1982 The Jam announced they were splitting up - there would, though, be a final chance for fans to experience The Jam’s astonishing live shows, with a 14-date ‘farewell’ tour announced. The centrepiece was a five-night stand at Wembley Arena, the 10,000-capacity shed next to the London football stadium (the recording here is from the second date), the biggest live venue in the capital.


The third night of the five night stand has already been released on the Deluxe Edition of The Gift.



* Packaged in mini, lift-off lid box with 72-page, colour hard-back book.

* Individual gatefold wallets for the discs, designed as facsimiles of the original tape boxes.

* Includes new essay, period photos, rare memorabilia and set of five postcard prints.

* Remastered at Abbey Road.


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