At West Runton 16/7
I went down to Norfolk last Friday to see The Jam. Not knowing what might greet me in West Runton I decided to smooth off a little bit, taking some real clothes with me in case life existed in Norfolk. I got there about 8 o’clock, staggered into the entrance of the hall, left 1.25 at the door, which I don’t think was too bad, and was immediately searched for bombs! I went for a piss and then wandered into the dancehall where I was amazed to see a high percentage of punks, plus a few dossers picnics.
From the Norwich-based "Vomit" fanzine
I was thinking what a bunch of tossers the smoothies looked ‘till I suddenly remembered I was dressed like one! I immediately ripped my shirt and donned a few pins and chains. There were a lot of interesting people there, most of the punks I talked to said they were a persecuted minority in their home towns.
I can’t remember at what time the New Hearts came on they didn’t impress me too much, too stereotyped but others seemed to like them. There was a short pause of almost a quarter of an hour before The Jam exploded into their set, I can’t remember the order of the songs they played. It was too good to bother to write it down. I was fucking overwhelmed by the whole experience and the good beer . Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and we all split about twelve. I was so pissed I crashed on the beach with some punks from Hunstanton. It must have been a good gig ‘cos I still remember it as a good experience after a rough night on the beach (I was threatened with a shotgun among other things that happened). Richard
Finally, Rob Aherne quoted from "What Flo Said:"
“I hadn’t really heard much by the Jam until a week or so before the gig when I’d taped a late evening Radio One session - possibly John Peel, but I’m not sure - with two bands the Jam and Caravan as featured artists. Almost as bizarre as having the Damned and T Rex on the same bill!
I was possibly a bit overwhelmed by the other “new” punk music in the last few months because, whilst they sounded really solid and professional, the Jam did not necessarily stand out - in fact most of the people that I normally went to West Runton with weren’t that interested in the gig. There was possibly something big on that Saturday and people were saving their pennies.
I’d been in the Village Inn for about 30 minutes talking to a group from the year above me at school when I was finally persuaded by a conversation with “Jona”, “Digit” and “Tulip” that this gig was not a gig to miss. I duly filed in past the box office, paid my £1.25, and immediately felt the tension in the air.
This was, with the possible exception of the first Darts gig, the most aggressive atmosphere I had ever felt at West Runton Pavilion. It was nothing to do with the music, initially, but there were certainly some “major personality conflicts” as they call it today.
I don’t remember much about the first band.I think it was New Hearts who went on to be the leading light in new mod as Secret Affair. The Jam, however, were something else entirely. For once, here was a band that sounded better live than on record.
One thing that I had picked up prior to the event was that the Jam were “not really punk” and this was carried on for years, certainly with Paul Weller’s mod allegiance. Irrespective of where anybody thinks they were - and I’m a long-term fan of mostly everything Paul Weller’s done - this was the pure heart of punk.
The shortish set (maybe 15 songs) took in their entire first album with Weller, Foxton and Buckler sparse on chat, heavy on aggression and style. Phenomenal.