The Jam: About the Young idea, at Somerset House


There’s a great exhibition of memorabilia, photos and music about The Jam at Somerset House, on the Strand in central London, at the moment. I went there on Sunday. It was full of geezers in polo shirts, Fred Perrys to the fore, of a certain age. Women too, and a few youngsters, of the punky kind. So I felt at home, in my polo shirt, though not a Fred Perry on this day.

The Jam were one of the great 70s and early 80s punk bands. But not really punk. They dressed more sharply, looking back to The 60s Mods; and their music was heavily influenced by the 60s sounds of The Who, The Kinks and The Beatles. But for me, as a teenager, they were one of the big four of the punk era, with the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks.

This was a lovely exercise in nostalgia for me and most of the people there. There were smiles everywhere. Tapping feet as people watched the videos. Great memories, and music that still sounds fresh and urgent.

Here are a few photos.

This first one brings a sense of regret, because since the NME ceased paid-for publication last month, none of these newspapers exist anymore. The world has moved on. NME is reviving as a free paper and will retain its web presence, but it is still truly the end of an era.


Advert for one of the great singles.


One of Paul Weller’s Rickenbackers.


And some of the sharp clothes they used to wear.


In the city, there’s a thousand things I want to say to you!

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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5 Responses to The Jam: About the Young idea, at Somerset House

  1. Dood says:

    Good call, John. Definitely on my London summer hitlist.

    Seeing the posters for this show reminded me recently to revisit the brief but stellar history of the band – only six studio albums in a short five years, but every one a gem in its own way. I personally loved the later stuff, when Weller started drawing on the Northern Soul influences that peaked with The Style Council (whom I loved – possibly more than The Jam).

    An old flame back in the eighties was at school with Weller at Sheerwater County Secondary in Woking. (You’ll know that he’s midway between my age and yours.) She recalls a spotty oik with Tory tendencies!

    What a brilliant career since, though. And all inspired, according to the Independent’s Jonathan Owen – I’ll send you the link – by a 1972 gig by……Status Quo. Now YOU can relate to that.

    • John S says:

      Quo were given a credit at the exhibition; and I will never forget my first ever rock concert, which was Quo at Leicester de Montfort.

      Loved the Style Council’s first album, and “Long Hot Summer” was my single of 1983 – wait until you see my book for an explanation.

      But in the end the legacy is about The Jam. So many iconic singles.

  2. Resa says:

    Excellent! “The world has moved on.” Guess we will see what happens!

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