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The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Friday 05 October 2012


Thick As Thieves: Fans Get Passionate Between The Covers With The Jam

Tick, tock the hour is near. It's the 9th December 1982 and there's a gig ticket on top of The Jam's pile of vinyl that lay neatly piled on the Dansette. Not just any old gig ticket, but one so I can say a fond farewell at the Brighton Centre to the band that had defined the last six years of my life.

Tick, tock, tick just two days to go. It’s 3pm and I’m in bed. I’m covered head-to-toe in a red rash. I feel s**t, but I’m gonna beat this. In forty-eight hours I will be seeing The Jam live for the twenty-seventh and last time.

Tock, tick rewind. It’s a another wet and windy Spring evening in 1977 and a barely known group of Woking Herberts are in town to try to win over the twenty or so punters who lurk menacingly in the corners of the Embassy Cinema, in Western Road, Brighton.

If we were expecting chit-chat and niceties then The Jam were not ticking any of the light entertainment boxes.



They were full-on, angry and combative. If anyone was seemingly spoiling for a fight then it was some 18-year-old-looked-13-year-old who went by the name of Paul Weller.

I was impressed. They had the punk spirit melded with the Mod vibe. And oh, THOSE songs.

Properly structured, expertly played and impeccably delivered numbers that spoke of hopes, dreams, girls, friendships and injustice. I bought in to The Jam hook, line and sinker.

Ring, ring, ring the hour cometh and there was no happy ending. I missed The Jam’s last stand on 11th December 1982 at the Brighton Centre.



The aforementioned red rash (Chicken Pox) was in full flame and my ticket had been returned to the Box Office. They were gone.

But my story isn’t unique, as the recently published weighty tome Thick As Thieves: Personal Situations With The Jam testifies. I was just a foot soldier in a much larger army, The Jam army.  

Conceived and brought to publication by Stuart Deabill and Ian Snowball, Thick As Thieves lets The Jam’s fans take centre stage to tell their unique individual tales of just why, from 1977 through till the dying embers of 1982, Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler were their Beatles.

Interspersed through-out are recollections from many of those who played much more than walk on parts. All have something positive to say, and all add to the collective knowledge that The Jam really were ‘the best fucking band in the world.’

Thick As Thieves: Personal Situations With The Jam is a work of love and a fitting testament to a band who were sticklers to detail and passionate about the affect their art had on the masses. Stuart Deabill and Ian Snowball .. job done!

To purchase the book
CLICK HERE


by: Mike Cobley



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