Classic Jam hits coming up in Brighton

Felpham’s Russell Hastings is aiming to get into the recording studio for December, January and February for his latest album with former Jam bass player Bruce Foxton.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 6:00 am
From The Jam

The two have been touring for a number of years as From The Jam, having started working together 14 years ago.

They are also hoping, guidelines permitting, to break off from recording to play two socially-distanced gigs in Brighton at St Barts on December 18 and 19.

“The album is just going to be me and Bruce with a few nice guests. It is just going to be great pop tunes really. There is no deliberation. We just play. There is a great track on there called Loola and there is a really nice track on there called Rain – and another song called Wanted which has got a lot of piano on it.

“The album is going to be called The Butterfly Effect. The artwork is all done for it. We are hoping to release it next summer. We were planning to go into (ex-Jam frontman) Paul (Weller’s) studio to do it, but with the lockdown Paul was busy in there, so we are going to use a nice new Brighton studio.”

The album will help salvage a really tough year.

“We have missed out on the whole year really. The last show we did was in Belfast on March 7. Last year we did Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia. We came back here and had three days off and started a big UK tour until January 31. We went away on holiday and came back and started again in March and had three dates and then lockdown.”

Russ admits he struggled to cope with it: “Our job is basically getting lots of people into one place and travelling around the world and feeling free. Travelling everywhere last year, it was just going crazy, and we were feeling high, doing every day the things we loved doing. And then it was lockdown.

“I suppose it was OK for the first four or five weeks and then we were phoning each other saying ‘When do you think this is going to end?’ It was tough, and it was tough for Bruce as well.

“I have spoken to lots of people in the business, good friends, and they have struggled as well.”

Writing the album became a lockdown project, sending ideas back and forth via iPhone.

And then the possibility of socially-distanced gigs opened up.

“We had about 13… unlucky 13. They were all sold out, about 130 people in very big venues.”

And then the second lockdown struck. Russ and Bruce are delighted it is all looking good for the Brighton gigs now.

“But really there is no guarantee for anything. Promoters are saying that they don’t want to put a lot of money into PR for things that they don’t know are happening. You have just got to hope that the vaccine will work and that we will have a good warm spring next year.

“But really it has just been a shocking time. Our industry was one of the last, left behind by the government, and we fell out of each catchment area.

“Everybody I know has struggled. We have gone from being quite OK to not quite OK.

“There are many people now trying to turn their arrows to other bows, but for me, I was just writing the album. We have got nine tracks that are fully written and done. We have just got another three to go. And it is all sounding really, really good. We are really excited about it.”