From The Jam

Tonight was a special night for all the aged mods in the south-west, the Public Rooms in Bodmin saw a famous Bruce grace the stage once again, no not Forsyth, Bruce Foxton one of the founding members of the mod group…The Jam.

Growing up in a household with a father who was mod crazy and played The jam records on repeat in the car, it was only a matter of time before I too became a fan of band and the mod scene. Obviously I will never be able to witness the magnitude that was the original line-up with Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, but the closest I will get to it is a tribute band with Foxton and that is good enough for me.303393_10151160258483039_377137947_n

There are two support bands on tonight, the first of which are ‘A Day at the Races’, an indie-pop/alternative band from Bristol. This band were definitely a good choice for tonight’s gig as they have a Jam feel to them and are clearly influenced by the band as the lead singer is constantly saying that he can’t wait to see Foxton playing live later. As the trio play through their set, the crowd seem to enjoy the antics of the lead singers Weller style guitar playing and his Rikenbacker (which was Paul Weller’s) guitar. It is a real shame that the crowd were still in the process of entering the venue whilst ‘A Day at the Races’ were playing because they really kicked off the night with a bang.

The next support band up are a ska/funk band from Plymouth called ‘Land of the Giants’, who, although they do get the crowd moving throughout their set, the reason could be that most of the audiences alcohol level has dramatically risen since waiting and they are trying to get into the mood for dancing to the main event tonight. It is not that ‘Land of the Giants’ are a poor band, far from it, rather that they are perhaps too rocky to support a mod band and were on stage for far longer than they should have been as by now, at the age most of the crowd are, their legs have got to be aching.

Although The Jam may have beat surrendered in 1982 the atmosphere at this venue makes the mod-era come alive again, as fans in Harrington jackets, Bowling shoes, Parkas and Fred Perry t-shirts walk through the door. As I look around the room I see the generation who grew up with and loved The Jam, tonight shows that they are still devoted to one of the greatest bands in music after all these years.

The crowd are not waiting for too long before From The Jam enter the stage, to thunderous applause and cheers. They jump straight into ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’ which gets the entire room singing and jumping along. As they play through their classic tracks, which even the most unknown to The Jam will know, Foxton brings the energy of the 70s to the show with his signature flying kicks and trendy polk-a-dot shirt with fish tail suit.

The band make great interaction with the audience, thanking them for the large turnout and commenting that they like coming to this part of the country because of all the lovely people.

They don’t just stick to The Jam songs, they also delve into a ‘Kinks’ cover, and a track from Foxton’s recent album, the audience still go wild though even if they do not know them. Continuing with the show they blast through great tracks such as: Going Underground, That’s Entertainment, The Butterfly Collector and David Watts. They also play ‘Ghosts’, not a very well known track but a ballad which gets a wonderful sing-a-long after the guitarist and singer, Russell Hastings, says “all together now”.

After they walk off stage, chants of “Brucie” beckon an encore, and they do not disappoint as they come back on to finish off the night with: In The City, Beat Surrender and A Town Called Malice.

This gig just shows how The Jam was not just Weller, but all the members were vital to the band’s success, especially Foxton with his bass lines which in most cases lead all of their greatest tracks…without Foxton their would have been no Jam.

It’s too bad that they had to break up, however the spirit of The Jam will live forever in nights like this one.

The Gaslight Anthem Gig Review

The New Jersey quartet storm the Bristol O2 Academy stage on a wet and cold March evening. The night started off with an explosive performance by the rock ‘n’ roll duo from Canada, ‘Japandroids’, who although only a duo, created an energy which showed they don’t need to be a stereotypical band to break on to the music scene. As they play through their tracks, they show that they have their minds set on bigger stages, however no matter how much they try tonight, the crowd just don’t feel the full impact of their music, as they more or less stand still throughout their set.

After a half hour wait the crowd finally get what they came here for tonight, the blues-rock ‘n’ roll band, ‘The Gaslight Anthem’. A hall full of cheers as they begin their set with ‘High Lonesome’, the track gets the entire room singing along with fists pumping in the air.the gaslight anthem

The band play through some of their greatest songs from their last three albums, much to the audience’s enjoyment. Songs such as: Handwritten, 45, Orphans and Old White Lincoln get the crowd jumping and at some points a pit is even opened up. Whilst others songs: Great Expectations, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Miles Davis and the Cool create sing-alongs which echo throughout the academy. The crowd also get a special treat with a cover of ‘The Animals’ song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and ‘Señor and the Queen’, a track from their four-song EP.

Although they did bring a huge show to the stage, the only minor aspects which the band could have improved on was that the interaction with the audience could have been better, and no tracks from their powerful 2005 début album, ‘Sink or Swim’, were played.

These are only slight criticisms though, and it really is hard to complain when the band come back on for an encore of some of their best songs, ending their own tracks with ‘The ’59 Sound’, if there is one fan in the audience who is not singing during this song, then it would seem that they are at the wrong concert.

The night comes to an end with the band playing an anthem which is known throughout the entire crowd, ‘Baba O’Riley’ by ‘The Who’, and the boys pull it off perfectly. Not only with lead singer, Brian Fallon, being on par with Roger Daltrey’s vocals, but also with the explosive outro, which saw Fallon smashing the drums with the rest of the band playing their hearts out, ending an evening of blues-rock ‘n’ roll.

The full setlist for the show is as follows:

High Lonesome

Casanova Baby!

Old White Lincoln

Handwritten

45

Senor and the Queen

Orphans

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

House of the Rising Sun (The Animals cover)

Miles Davis and the Cool

Howl

Biloxi Parish

Blue Dahlia

The Queen of Lower Chelsea

Great Expectations

Keepsake

Encore:

She Loves You

Here Comes My Man

Mulholland Drive

American Slang

The ’59 Sound

Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)

Their Famous Last Words

My Chemical Romance, the New Jersey band, with help from a few other acts, who started their own genre and have influenced kids all over the world for the past 12 years, announced on March 22nd that they will be splitting up. Lead singer Gerard Way posted on the band’s official website:

“Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We’ve gotten to go places we never knew we would. We’ve been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We’ve shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.”
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The post did not really explain the reasons for the split, perhaps they felt that they had gotten the most they could out of the band, or maybe the romance just died. One sure thing that can be said though is that what My Chemical Romance did for the ‘Alternative-Rock’ genre will never be forgotten.

Not only did they become the kings of the genre, they also went up against the print media in 2006, when ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Daily Mail’ created stories about the band just to sell newspapers, however they didn’t go into it alone as their fans, the ‘MCRmy’ congregated outside the Marble Arch in London to protest the stories. This just showed how supportive their fans were, they stuck with them through thick and thin…which must have made it harder for the band to announce their split.

History of the Band:

I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love:

One week after the 9/11 attacks in America, Gerard Way was influenced so much that he decided to start a band with drummer Matt Pelissier. Ray Toro was then recruited by the band to play guitar, along with Way’s younger brother Mikey, after he heard the band and dropped out of college, to play bass. The band met Frank Iero whilst he was the lead singer and guitarist for ‘Pencey Prep’, after ‘Pencey Prep’ split in in 2002, Iero joined ‘My Chemical Romance’ as rhythm guitarist.

The band released their début album, ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’, just three months after forming, through ‘Eyeball Records’.

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Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge:

In 2003 the band signed to the major record label, ‘Reprise Records’. With who they released their second album, ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’, in 2004. The album propelled them into the limelight with huge singles, such as: ‘Helena’, ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’ and ‘Ghost Of You’. The album showed the power which this band could put in to an album, and didn’t shy away from the sound of their début. After their Japan tour in 2004, the band replaced drummer Matt Pelissier for Bob Bryer.

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The Black Parade:

In 2006, ‘My Chemical Romance’ started recording their third album with producer, ‘Rob Cavallo’ who has worked with the likes of ‘Green Day’, ‘Meat Loaf’, ‘Paramore’ and ‘Avril Lavigne’. On October 23rd 2006, the band released their third album, ‘The Black Parade’. Which saw the band take on a new style for the album, dressing as a dark marching band. The album varied in the theme, it was in parts powerful, but then in others mournful. However that does not mean it wasn’t a good album, far from it. Tracks such as: ‘Dead’, ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ and ‘Mama’ are masterpieces, and other songs like ‘Cancer’ and ‘Famous Last Words’ give out a deeper meaning and it all holds the album together, being a record you could listen to whether you are blasting it out in your car or moping around your house. With one of the greatest music videos ever made, ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’, and a number one UK single spot it is easy to say that this album will never be forgotten.

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Watchmen:

In 2009 the band did a cover of the song ‘Desolation Row’ by ‘Bob Dylan’ for the motion picture ‘Watchmen’, which was released in the same year.

Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys:

In 2009 the band announced that Bob Bryer had left the band. On November 22nd the band released their fourth album, ‘Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys’. For this album the band took on a brand new look, which was fictional comic book characters created by the band…The Killjoys. The album was written as though it was a graphic novel and was following the stories of ‘The Killjoys’. It was by far the bands most powerful album, it showed everything that ‘My Chemical Romance’ could do, and although did not reflect the sound of their first album, as with ‘Planetary (Go)’ being more of a dance song, it had the feeling of ‘The Black Parade’ and when listening to the record is obvious that the band put all of their energy in to writing and recording it. It is a fast-paced album, all the way up to ‘Vampire Money’, the last track on the album.

The band released five singles from the album; ‘Na Na Na’, ‘The Kids From Yesterday’, ‘Planetary (Go)’, ‘The Only Hope For Me Is You’ and ‘Sing’. The last song also being used to promote awareness for the victims of the Japan tsunami.

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Conventional Weapons:

In 2012 Frank Iero announced that the band would be releasing a new project called ‘Conventional Weapons’, it consisted of 10 unreleased songs which were recorded prior to their ‘Danger Days…’ album. They released two songs every month for five months.

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Early this year there was speculation about the band starting work on a fifth album, that speculation has been put to rest now however after Gerard Way’s website post. Rumours have been spreading saying that the band split as a way to leave their label, and that they will be still be playing together but under a new name. However the world will always know these four guys by the name which influenced so many artists today…My Chemical Romance.

So long and goodnight, Killjoys.