from Jon Kirkland................................ Sound Affects

A heady mix for anyone, let alone the impressionable 15-year-old that I was. November 1980 my first Jam concert, and the upcoming release of Sound Affects, or most annoyingly Sound Effects as it seemed to be constantly referred to by those too ignorant to know any better.

Being in the East Midlands and in a small town where no band ever played, the trip to Leicester had been eagerly awaited since my brother, a source of much of my music, as his scratched LP's will testify, had introduced me to The Jam through 'All Mod Cons' followed by the rest of his collection. I stood in the audience anticipating the leaps and struts of Weller and Foxton and the beat of Buckler only briefly being broken out of the trance by a pint of very sweet cider, thanks Phil, and a superb rendition of Tom Harks by The Piranhas (anyone remember them)

'Sound Affects' had not been released so my first taste was the live version. The most vivid recollection of the night was 'Set the House Ablaze' which seemed to lift me higher and higher as Weller spat out the song with such venom and power that I repeated his style for many a month, every time I heard the song (and still do!!!).

Our version of a mod scene was engrossed with the album. Three of us had it word perfect within 3 days and would sing our favourite tunes to, from and during the endless school days. Whenever we met it was either being listened to or talked about.
Start! A record that had changed the sound and set the scene for an album I never grew tired of, and never will. 'But I'm Different Now' with that fabulous guitar riff and the repeating 'But I'm glad that you're my..' that had me convinced I'd scratched another of his records! 'Scrape Away' is still as haunting as it ever was. 'Boy about Town' which a mate of mine took so literally he thought Paul had based the song on him.

'That's Entertainment' a fascinating tale of a world I was only just beginning to find out about and it is only now with an active 4 year old around that I realise the tranquility of solitude. 'Pretty Green' with that Bass line thumping out and grabbing your attention no matter what you were doing.

I heard the album again when I bought 'Direction, Reaction Creation'. Each CD played in turn all evoking feelings of timeless quality but the 'Sound Affects' tracks brought back those days of school, THE JAM and that first of 4 Gigs. A time when my band were the best and the coolest.

An album with only one single but is still full of class, meaning and influence. Every 15-year-old needs an Album like Sound Affects. Every 34-year-old needs memories like these!

Jon Kirkland - Sept 1999