From The JamFrom The Jam/The Longstands

O2 Academy
1st December 2009

Reviewed by Nadia Baha

What a way to start a new month. While lots of people are already stressed buying Christmas presents, I go to the 02 Academy to see two bands I don’t know, which is always exciting. I can’t understand people who don’t watch support bands and just come in for the main act. To me that simply is disrespectful. Every band has to start somewhere, even the now big main act had to start supporting other bands.

Anyway ... I will stop preaching now.

The support band of the evening was called The Longstands and they hail from Newcastle. In the beginning they seemed a bit nervous but after a few minutes they felt more comfortable onstage. There was a problem with the sound but fortunately not through the whole concert. It was their first night supporting From The Jam, no wonder they were nervous in the beginning.

The Longstands delivered about half an hour of enjoyable music, not innovative or exciting but music doesn’t always have to be life-changing. Sometimes it is just nice to hear music that sounds familiar, like you have heard it before, but you still know it is not what you heard before. Old stuff with a twist. I don’t know them but The Longstands seem to be like their music – honest, down to earth and in love with the “classic area” of rock/pop music. I understand; I love the sixties.

The music is very suitable for airplay and everyone can find bits they like. The harmonies gave most of the songs an anthemic feel.

After this very pleasant start of the evening, I had a look around. The venue was full. Everyone was eager to see and hear From The Jam.

When the three elderly men entered the stage the whole venue cheered. From The Jam didn’t waste any time and went straight into Going Underground, my favourite song by The Jam. The song has also been used by the a band called Amateur Transplants for their hilarious parody, London Underground.

From then on From The Jam played hits and other songs – old and not so old ones. Everyone was having great time. Real fans sang every song with them, word perfect. I have to admit, I just knew the words to some songs. The men I described as elderly, had more energy then some young bands. They were full of life and took the audience on a travel in time. The songs stand the test of time and unfortunately songs like Going Underground are still as striking as they were more than two decades ago.

You want more money - of course I don't mind
To buy nuclear textbooks for atomic crimes.
And the public gets what the public wants
But I want nothing this society's got -
I'm going underground, (going underground)
You choose your leaders and place your trust
As their lies put you down and their promises bust
You'll see kidney machine replaced by rockets and guns.

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