Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 100 Club

A little while ago I was invited to see The Jamm at the 100 Club on Oxford Street by a friend of mine, whom I shall call Sakura (keeping my "no real names" policy). Not only is she a completely lovely lady, but she's also a huge Weller fan. She's seen The Jam about 70 times, and Weller since he went solo around 50 times. Now that's what I call a serious fan!

Anyway, we went to the 100 Club, which is situated on London's Oxford Street and has been hosting a plethora of music since 1942 (originally a restaurant called Mack's). The list of bands and artists that have performed here is way too long to list them all. But to give you a little taster, some of the acts that have graced their stage include...Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, The Who, The Kinks, The Clash, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Oasis, Kula Shaker, Echobelly, The Jam and of course Paul Weller. The club has also had Metallica and The Rolling Stones perform secret "warm up" gigs there.

I'm not sure if the size of the club has changed over the years, but I doubt it. It's incredibly small, and the stage consists of just a few stage boxes. It's effectively just the basement of a building. You're right there with whomever is playing. I can't even begin to imagine the atmosphere of the place when headliners are filling the dark confines with their musical bonanza. Even though the smoking ban is a good thing, this place is just screaming out to be filled with layers of hazy smoke, peppered with lairy stage lights and vibrating guitar chords.

We took our place to the left of the stage and I listened intently to Sakura's stories of The Jam, flipping through her exclusive photos of Paul Weller, some of them with her in as well (oh the envy!) whilst we waited for the Jamm to come on. The Jamm are, obviously, a Jam tribute band. They've been performing together for years and years but have decided to call time on playing at the end of this year after a fairly extensive UK tour. Having never been to a Jam gig (being only 5 years old when they disbanded!), I was eagerly looking forward to hearing some of their music played live. I'd checked out their MySpace page and heard a few of their tracks before going, and in my humble opinion they sounded pretty damn good. Well, I wasn't disappointed. They played a really good selection of songs, and were even persuaded to come back on stage and do an unplanned encore, much to the delight of the rather energetic (and slightly middle aged) crowd.

I did manage to video a few of their tracks, but my phone seems to be unable to cope with any sort of bass at all. I've picked the 2 better recordings, which are below, although the quality of the sound does fall away a little. Keep an eye out for the extremely strange man bouncing away at the front of the stage. You can't miss him. He's the only prancing around with a full on silver mullet. Sakura had seen him before and told me that he has modelled himself on Bruce Foxton (bass player of The Jam). I went to the bar and he was standing next to me, he turned, looked at me and introduced himself..."Hi, I'm Bruce". Hmmm...of course you are mate. Whatever flicks your switch!

The first video is "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight".

The second video is "Saturday's Kids"

If you go to their MySpace page, make sure you check out the song "David Watts". It's one of my personal favorites. Hopefully they'll play it in Putney in December...when I'm off to see them again! Feel free to come along!

Posts to come include....music review, Paul Weller in Germany, more DIY (even more challenging than the last one!), and a good old fashioned Rant.


Reeny's Ramblin' said...

I am always weary about cover bands for some reason. Not sure why, just am.

b0bby5ive said...

Hello, just wanted to throw my 2 penneth in about the 100 club, great place, they were still running monthly all night northern soul parties there that i went to right up until I left London a couple of years ago (and are probably still running them now) using the name 6T's Rythm and Soul society, I think i've still got my membership card around here somewhere....

The Author Of This said...

Reeny - I hear what you're saying. Never quite as good as the original really. But in terms of The Jam, that's ok, because I've never seen the real mccoy perform in person. If it was an Oasis tribute band, or a solo Weller tribute, then it's a whole different ball game.

Bobby - Thanks for dropping by! Always nice to have a new person aboard, even if it's briefly. I'm not sure if they still run those, I'll have to check it out. Sounds like it would be good value for entertainment though!