From The Jam to Falkirk

A trend in the programming at Falkirk Community Trust’s arts centre, Falkirk Town Hall (FTH) has recently been becoming more apparent. A certain leaning towards a retro vintage vibe, with vintage clothing fairs and special screenings of cult music films like Quadrophenia and Soul Boy and now My Generation Mod Club Night on Friday 8 March and From the Jam supported by David Bateman on Thursday 4 April, two unashamedly ‘Mod’ orientated music events planned for the spring. What can it mean?

The fact that the first of these events – My Generation – is presented in association with the Falkirk Steeple Scooter Club might be a clue and hints at the area’s musical culture in the recent past. The screening of Soul Boy on its release in 2010 revealed the affection and nostalgia felt by a huge number of local people for the heady days of Northern Soul; when regular weekenders at Wigan Casino were organised, and coaches full of eager soul fans bussed it down to the Northern heartland of a music scene that was very particular to the time (the 60s), and was fiercely loved by the aficionados and largely ignored by those not in the loop.

The proliferation of Scooter clubs in the Falkirk area also recalls the 60s music scene that has been inspiring regular Mod revivals ever since. The early 80s of course saw one of the most influential of those revivals with The Jam leading the new wave of Mod inspired, angry, urgent, working class music that never goes out of fashion.

Bruce Foxton, one of the founder members of The Jam and now touring their back catalogue with Mark Brzezicki and Russell Hastings as From The Jam is coming to Falkirk soon, supported by local boy David Bateman.

Bruce is a part of the English Rock and Roll establishment. A musician (born 1/9/1955 Woking, Surrey) who is most commonly recognised as the bass player in legendary bands The Jam and Stiff Little Fingers. In The Jam, he and drummer Rick Buckler were the driving force, power and rhythm section behind singer, guitarist, and songwriter Paul Weller.

Bruce’s versatility is evident, taking lead vocals on "David Watts" (The Kinks) and "News Of The World", which was one from his catalogue of own compositions. Foxtons most notable work being "Smithers-Jones", done with bass/guitar/drums for the B-side of "When You're Young" and later reworked with strings for the Setting Sons LP.

After The Jam split in '82, Foxton pursued a solo career. He had a hit with the single "Freak" and collaborated with other musicians, until he got the call from Stiff Little Fingers' Jake Burns, staying with SLF for fifteen years, recording four albums, namely, Flags and Emblems, Get a Life, Tinderbox, and Guitar and Drum.

In 1994, Rick and Bruce collaborated on Our Story, a biography of their eventful and cherished years in The Jam. Bruce toured with Bruce Watson, Mark Brzezicki (Big Country) and Simon Townshend (The Who) in 2006 as The Casbah Club supporting The Who in the U.K and Europe promoting their new album "Venustraphobia." Bruce is now touring again with Mark Brzezicki.

Mark (born Mark Michael Brzezicki, 21 June 1957, Slough, Berkshire, England) is a rock drummer, who is primarily known for his work with Big Country, and is a former member of the groups The Cult, Ultravox, and Procol Harum.

He has also played with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Midge Ure, Fish, The Pretenders and many others. He uses both the traditional and matched grips.

With Tony Butler (of Big Country) he was known as Rhythm for Hire. Brzezicki left Big Country in July 1989, but re-joined in 1993. Big Country started gigging again in 2007, as part of their 25th anniversary tour.

In 2004, Brzezicki helped found a new band, Casbah Club, with Bruce Foxton and Simon Townshend. Smash Hits magazine had a running gag in the 1980s wherein they referred to him as "Mark Unpronounceablename of Big Country". On Pete Townshend's All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes and White City: A Novel albums there are joking references to the spelling of his last name

Russell is a musician/vocalist in his own right Russell has shocked audiences worldwide with his authentic and passionate interpretation in performance (vocals and guitar) of The Jam's back catalogue.

Russell grew up on The Jam and this is evident in his attention to every detail, from the Rickenbacker to the Marshall 4x4 everything as it was and should be. Energy, pride, execution and dynamic delivery

David Bateman is an act of acoustic simplicity, playing original material as well as the hits of the 60's and 70's and wearing the clothes to match. Having been performing for the last decade, 22 year old David has notched up some great gigs alongside artists such as Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Cradock, and The Seahorses main man Chris Helme and also performed to sell-out crowds at The O2 Academy in Glasgow and Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. Influenced by a wide range of groups such as The Beatles, Slade, The Hollies, The Byrds, The Small Faces, right through to the alt country rock of the Flying Burrito Brothers, David has spent the last 8 years in a time warp but he's certainly not looking back. Watch this space.

Tickets (£20) for the gig can be bought from Falkirk Community Trust’s central box office in the Steeple, High Street, Falkirk – call 01324 506850 – or see the website www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org to book online (online booking fee applies).

Published on Monday, 28th January 2013

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