In the late seventies a three-piece band formed in a secondary school in Woking burst onto the music scene. They were angry left-wing young men who had basically had enough of how the country was run. They were particularly annoyed when Margaret Thatcher came to power. They were punk or at least they were post punk, but they were also Mods. Confused? So were the listening public. Here was a band that had all the energy and vitriol of the Sex Pistols but with the musicality of Motown and the song writing skills of the protest poets but there was a charm there as well that Weller brought to the sound more in keeping with the work of the Kinks Ray Davies. They did not dress like the punks, there was no leather and denim. There’s was the well-cut suit and the Farah Shirts like the ones that can be seen at https://www.ejmenswear.com/men/farah.
It was as if the Dave Clark five had lost two members and decided to song like the Damned crossed with the Small faces. The Jam brought about a revival in Mod style and clothing. They may have had the strong “estuary English” all Queens pronounced but they portrayed in a way that was to strike massive chords with the youth at the time. They were tired of the nihilism of punk and its was beginning to become a self-parodying self-serving exercise. Even the Mohican and the leather jackets were becoming a uniform which was completely at odds to what the movements aims had been at its start. Now they could keep the raw guitar, they could keep or convey the politics and they were going to look damn good doing it.
The Jam were Paul Weller who played the lead guitar and was the lead vocalist. He was also the principal writer of the band’s songs. His Dad also managed the band. On Bass and drums were his school friends Bruce Foxton and Rick Butler. They had a bond that would see the band into the early nineteen eighties, but the cracks were set when it became clear that Weller was the talent and the driving force behind the bands success. After there last single A town called malice” that had the usual hard edge singing form Weller with a keyboard and female backing it was clear where he was going, and Foxton and Buckler were not coming with him. Weller broke up the band and Foxton and Buckler have never really forgiven him.
Weller arose out of the The Jam into the Style Council. The Jams last single “…Malice” sounded more like a Style Council song anyway. He was to grow from strength to strength.