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.
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!
Kirkland - Sept 1999