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6 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

The previous June (78) - Myself and a couple of mates roadied for the Jam at KGH, when I say roadied, I actually mean humped and dumped boxes of cables speakers and PA kit around. It was a fantastic experience, the only downside was it was the day before my English O level exam which I duly failed. I can't remember how it came about, but we got to meet all of the band including Paul Weller's dad who I think was managing them at the time, they were all very approachable.

I stood next to Paul Weller in the bar in the Ribblesdale that night. I was only in my early teens and came straight from a school cricket match! Weller would barely have been out of his teens himself at that point. John Weller was a fantastic bloke who would always make sure the kids were looked after for autographs/getting into soundchecks etc. One of the highlights of my gig-going life was seeing The Jam play Start in the 1980 KGH soundcheck. PW actually told us we were among the first 50 or so people to ever hear it as he had only just written it. Of course, it went on to be a number 1 hit later that year. I'll maybe post a review of the two gigs I went to in 1980 (KGH and Deeside Leisure Centre) at some point.

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I heard a rumour that *Prince Charming is playing Blackburn tonight. I didn't even know he was still alive. 😮

*No, not Jason Lowe.

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11 hours ago, Husky said:

I heard a rumour that *Prince Charming is playing Blackburn tonight. I didn't even know he was still alive. 😮

*No, not Jason Lowe.

£41 a ticket. Think Waggott was promoting it.

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5 hours ago, MCMC1875 said:

£41 a ticket. Think Waggott was promoting it.

FFS!!!! Seriously!?!? That's shocking!!

I'm guessing it wasn't sold out. Or that all the well off people returned to Blackburn for a bit of "ghetto tourism". 😮

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As promised, my second review of The Jam from back in the day; this time their final appearance at King Georges Hall in June 1980.

Tuesday 3rd June 1980. The Jam, King Georges Hall, Blackburn.

I honestly thought this gig had been during the month of May and I would have put my mortgage on it. However, I have checked the archives and we had actually just crept into June. Damn you, Father Time!

Nottingham Forest had recently been crowned Champions of Europe for the second year running, and my own team, Blackburn Rovers, had just been promoted from the third tier to the dizzy heights of the second division after an incredible second half of the season under the leadership of the late Howard Kendall, who was still playing at that time – and what a player (and manager) he was! In the cinemas were three classic films; Urban Cowboy, The Shining and The Empire Strikes Back, while The Bourne Identity was still just a book; and a brand new one, at that.

Meanwhile this 15 year old schoolboy was slap bang in the middle of his GCE ‘O’ Levels, with an exam – Mathematics if I remember correctly - due to be sat the very morning after this gig! Respect to my parents for allowing me to attend it, under the circumstances. Had they known I had already begun a career in drinking and smoking I’m not sure they would have been quite so accommodating.

The Jam had only played King Georges Hall some six months previously so it was a surprise to hear about this gig, as there was no album to plug and no UK tour planned. I had it in my mind’s eye that they had arranged this date and two others (at Wolverhampton and Stoke) as a warm up for a European tour but I can find no trace of such a tour having taken place. Perhaps they originally intended to simply visit the towns and cities of all the founder members of the Football League….

Whatever the motive for the gig, things had really taken off for The Jam in those six months. Setting Sons had sold in spades, The Eton Rifles crept into the top 5 in the singles charts – their first single to do so – and triumphantly, their most recent single, Going Underground, had made The Jam the first artist since Slade almost a decade earlier to enter the singles charts at Number 1. The Jam was the biggest band in Britain at that time; officially.

Despite all of the above, the gig was not a sell-out. This may surprise people, but the fact that lots of kids were in the middle of exams, the very recent previous gig at the same venue, and the relatively expensive cost of tickets (up 33% from the previous gig to £4) meant that there were probably around 3000 people present in a hall that took 4000. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We had heard many stories about kids being allowed into sound checks etc from the Setting Sons gig, and so me and a handful of mates who were lucky enough not to have had an exam that afternoon (some poor devils did – and how they must have regretted that fact later!) went down to the venue in mid afternoon to see whether we could catch sight of any of the band. After hanging around for what seemed like ages, a large chap who we now know to be Kenny Wheeler (Paul Weller's road manager to this day) ushered us in through a side door. “Fuck me” I said to one of the other kids, “all those rumours were true!”

We were let into the hall through an entrance I didn’t even know existed, and there were a few technicians and roadies floating around the stage, but the kit seemed set up and ready to roll.

“Alright lads, how are you all?”

I had heard that gruff voice before, and turned round to see John Weller (Paul's dad and The Jam's manager), who at that time had not even turned 50 - younger than I am now - striding towards us looking like the cat that got the cream. He’d obviously had a decent hand at three card brag that afternoon! He had a black leather jacket on and I always thought there was a certain irony in the fact that he looked like an archetypal rocker. He explained to us that the group would come out and play through a couple of numbers and then have a quick chat with us kids, but that they were a bit pushed for time. He said he would make sure we all got something signed before they were finished. “What a lovely bloke” we all agreed.

It was bizarre. There were roughly between 50 and 100 kids, almost exclusively lads - there were no more than a couple of girls, at most, there – waiting for our heroes to come on stage and play a mini-gig, especially for us.

Rick was the first to appear. He also had a leather jacket on, which he discarded and threw on top of a speaker. He waved at everyone and went through a few moves. Then Bruce arrived on the scene, wearing a tee shirt and jeans. He plugged in and played a few notes and tested the microphone out. Paul then casually walked through the hall and jumped up onto the stage from our side. I suspect he’d been with Gill, but I doubt they’d have been in the Ribblesdale pub next door as they had the first time they played Blackburn. He was very recognisable by then and wouldn’t have been left in peace as he had been back in 1978.

Paul got the loudest cheer. I don’t really remember what he was wearing, other than he had scarf on! He lit a fag and started testing his microphone. Then he turned round and said something to one of the roadies, then in turn to Bruce and Rick, and plugged in his guitar. He then addressed the kids. “Thank you for coming, we really appreciate you buying the records and coming to the shows. This is a song I’ve only just written”.

He didn’t actually tell us what it was called, but it was Start! For a while afterwards we assumed it was called “What You Give is What You get”. I think he was probably still shaping the song to be honest. Interestingly – and partly with the benefit of hindsight I suppose - the bass line was much lower in the mix and as a result the comparison to the Beatles' Taxman' was far less obvious the way it was played that night. I was familiar with the Fabs' Revolver album, which was apparently never off Weller's turntable at the time and from whence came Taxman, and with a couple of the other songs that were played that night I spotted the 'influences' immediately, but not with Start! played that way, and yet it is one of the most obvious nick’s of Paul’s (or maybe Bruce’s?) careers.

They didn’t play Start! during the actual set, interestingly, so it obviously was something of a work in progress.

I can’t say for certain what the other two sound check songs we heard were; I think one of them was David Watts and the other could have been one off Setting Sons (perhaps Thick as Thieves or Private Hell).

Then the band came down into the hall to speak to us kids and sign things for us. All I had was my ticket, a fag packet and the Jam tee shirt I was wearing – we hadn’t even been to the merchandising stall yet – in fact it probably wouldn’t even have been open at that point! I got them signed anyway, and to be honest I was a little bit star struck, and just said “Thanks”. Not that the band members had much time to speak. Paul seemed a bit tense, but Bruce and Rick were smiling away.

Once Kenny and John were satisfied that everyone had got something signed we were ushered out the same way we had come in and we had to queue up like everybody else.

From memory, the merchandise stall consisted of two new tee shirts – a Going Underground shirt with a bomb graphic and a striking Dreams of Children shirt with a rose on the front. Both had matching badges, and as a special bonus they were selling Strange Town tee shirts for a quid. After all, they were SO last year!!

The actual gig itself was fairly similar to the one from 6 months previously, with the added bonus of (I think) four new songs – all of which would end up on Sound Affects but none of which any of us had heard before. They were; But I’m Different Now, Dream Time, That’s Entertainment and Set the House Ablaze. Someone has since questioned whether ‘Entertainment’ was played as they reckon it wasn’t written by that stage, but I have been given a photo of Weller playing an acoustic guitar at that gig and I can’t think what other song he would have used it for. That said, it is entirely possible I may have one of those songs wrong with the passing of time, but the minute they played But I’m Different Now I recognised the Doctor Robert riff.

Unlike the Setting Sons gig, there was only one encore this time. This was perhaps a measure that it wasn’t quite at the level of the previous year. Not that any of us ‘sound check lads’ were overly concerned about that – we had been privy to a song that nobody else had heard yet, as well as the four new ones they played to the proles.

The mates that had been sitting an ‘O’ Level while we were meeting The Jam were understandably desperate for a piece of the action. So, we decided to sneak up to the balcony and hide under the seats and wait for the hall to empty, as we had heard that the band sometimes came out into the hall after gigs.

Once we thought the coast was clear, we ventured back downstairs. I held the door open for a bloke behind me, only to discover it was none other than Bruce Foxton! He said “Blimey mate, you look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

I have no idea what my response was, other than to explain that we’d been lucky enough to have been allowed into the sound check, but that three of our group had been sitting an exam and had missed it, and wouldn’t mind getting autographs etc. He motioned for the lot of us to come over and signed whatever we had in our possessions and posed for photos – one of the lads had sneaked a camera into the gig, an absolute no-no in those days (how times have changed!). Bruce also told us he would get the other band members to do likewise and disappeared back into the dressing room area, while motioning us into the hall.

There were probably another thirty or so kids that had the same idea, so by the time John’s boys came back, there was a mini stampede.

Bruce was as good as his word and we all ended up having our photos taken with him and Rick. I vividly remember Rick saying to one kid “I’m just a normal bloke, no need to look so petrified”. He also gave me a fag!!

Unfortunately, Paul was getting too much attention for comfort, and all he could do was try and sign an autograph for everyone, which he did with good grace, despite being very obviously knackered. My mate did get some photos of a few of us next to Paul. One in particular I loved as it showed me right next to him. I looked like I could have been his little brother! Sadly, nobody knows what became of those photos, though we all still have our signed stuff.

So, in summary, this actual gig probably wasn’t as good as the one six months earlier, but for me it was the most memorable Jam gig I ever went to. We all left high school and went in our different directions about two weeks after this gig, not a bad place to end things. We’d always be as thick as thieves after all.

Oh yeah, and for the record I passed the maths exam!!

 

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9 hours ago, old darwen blue said:

How were you 15 in 1980 when you’re considerably older than me?

😉

Ha ha ha very good Mark. Joking apart I was a year above what I should have been at school because - to quote one of my ‘friends’ - I was a clever bastard....

....which is why I had to go to St Mary’s College for a year before joining the police cadets.

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KGH capacity only 2,100 now. One reason why it's not on the circuit any more.

Edited by MCMC1875

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7 hours ago, MCMC1875 said:

KGH capacity only 2,100 now. One reason why it's not on the circuit any more.

Glasgow Barrowlands is smaller - it still seems to do okay but I take your point.

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On 01/12/2019 at 23:54, MCMC1875 said:

KGH capacity only 2,100 now. One reason why it's not on the circuit any more.

A Christmas pressie was for the lad and I to see The Aussie Pink Floyd at KGH, November next. 

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On 01/12/2019 at 23:54, MCMC1875 said:

KGH capacity only 2,100 now. One reason why it's not on the circuit any more.

I haven't been there since the 90s. 😮

What have they done to the place?

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Looking Forward To May and going to all 19 of these concerts in the space of 21 days! 

This is Wendy James former lead singer of Transvision Vamp! 

Already seen her live over 30 times! 

FB_IMG_1582233916108.jpg

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11 hours ago, Mattyblue said:

This your gaff?

55800C84-6CFB-4938-A158-65896DA32D7A.png

lol

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Is anyone else watching this set from Bowie at Glastonbury recorded in 2000?

Legendary stuff and sadly missed.

 

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10 hours ago, Gav said:

Is anyone else watching this set from Bowie at Glastonbury recorded in 2000?

Legendary stuff and sadly missed.

 

It was a great watch Gav. Some good Glastonbury sets available on the BBC iPlayer at the moment. Michael Kiwanuka is excellent.

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24 minutes ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

I'm not a Bowie fan. I watched the Albert Lee & Love performance on Friday night.

Any relation to Arthur ? 😀😉

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It was indeed Arthur Lee who headed Love. Albert Lee is another well known guitarist, still around. Then there's Alvin Lee, late of Ten Years after.

Anyway Tyrone, your post reminded me that I still need to watch that. the TV is no match for being there, mainly because most of what;'s good about Glastonbury never gets on the TV, but still it's better than nothing.

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