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I'm a former hospital radio/club/mobile DJ, avid record collector and amateur musician (playing guitar, keyboards, recorder, harmonica and percussion.) I've even filled in on bass guitar for a couple of local bands as well (although that was quite a few years ago). Also interested in Motorsports, Wrestling/Mixed Martial Arts and Classic Television and Radio from the 1960s - 1980s.

Why am I on here? Well, I'm just trying to make some sense of life before it's too late...but who cares anyway?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

THE JAM - "Transglobal Unity Express" DVD (Cherry Red) (2008)

Having gone through The Jam's studio albums late last year, the old DVD player's been called into service so to speak for this particular article - and it's a chance (albeit a brief one) to catch them in concert.  Now I've never seen them live, so the various TV appearances on shows like "Top Of The Pops" and the various live albums and Radio 1 "In Concert" shows were the only chances I had to see and hear their performances.  In fact, I remember seeing the "Transglobal Unity Express" gig featured on this DVD on BBC Two during one of the channel's "Rock Week" seasons in 1982.

To start with, this is a straight transfer to DVD of the original Channel 5 release (and in this case I mean the Polygram-owned video label of that name), but fans may feel short changed here, as there have been several sightings of a full length recording on You Tube running for around 90 minutes which, had it been used, could have made for better value for money, but there you go.

Anyway, filmed at Birmingham's Bingley Hall in March 1982, around the time that "The Gift" was released  the Jam were joined on stage by Steve Nichol and Keith Thomas on brass, the pair having helped out on the album, from which most of the songs on the DVD were taken.

 "Town Called Malice" was always going to be a crowd pleaser, with its motown-esque feel, with "Carnation", "Precious" and "Ghosts" also getting a positive reception from the 5,000 strong crowd that night.
The group threw in one of their occasional soul covers as Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" (introduced by Paul Weller as "one of Rick's (Buckler) songs") before Bruce Foxton's bass menacingly powered headlong into "Private Hell".  We then had a pretty standard version of "Pretty Green", followed by "Trans-Global Express (with Weller not quite in sync during the last verse) before the statement of intent that was "The Gift" sending the fans home happy.

There might have not been any extras features on the disc, but despite that, the programme did give a hint of what the group were capable of at the time.  And as for Paul's dad John Weller's opening claim that The Jam were the best band in the f***ing world,  well, the 5,000 fans there that night would certainly be inclined to agree with him!