I had a lot of plans for my last week in London, but in the end they mostly fell by the wayside. A combination of a couple of days of bad weather, a couple of days waiting in for repairmen and a sudden change in my packing deadline, left me with little available time.
One thing I did do was go to an exhibition at Somerset House celebrating Mod group The Jam.
I was a massive Paul Weller fan back in the day and so really enjoyed looking at records and magazines at Somerset house, many of which I remember owning at some distant time in the past. What happened to mine? Well I left them behind when I left home and at some point my parents threw them out. My mother, who never threw a thing out normally, had no sense of the value of some fanzines and picture sleeve records from a bygone age.
The Jam were very political, with songs like Eton Rifles, written about a fight between the leftish Right to Work movement and students from top public school Eton College, in 1978.
Old Etonian David Cameron, apparently, once said that Eton Rifles was one of his favourite songs. Either ol’ ham-face is so out of touch that he had no idea that the song wasn’t meant as a homage to his old school, or he was attempting humour. We may never know, but I’d be backing the former.
If you’re not interested in the Jam, there are also lots of photos of Woking (the band’s hometown) in the 1970s, proving that sometimes good things can emerge from Suburbia.
If you’re not interested in the Jam or Woking, then maybe you’re interested in 50-something men? If so, then you’re in luck because the exhibition was full of men-of-a-certain-age. The Jam always did have a strong male following and any Jam gig was always a smorgasbord of smartly dressed young men with leftish political leanings and (often) a motorcycle parked outside. These snappily dressed young men are now 50-something with bomber jackets and selfie sticks.
Well I guess we’re all getting older.
Somerset House has a lot of interesting stuff going on. Many free events (this wasn’t one of them though and tickets are £9.50 for the Jam exhibition)
I used to love the Jam. So much energy and raw and angry music. Ahh happy days xx