Even though 30 long years have passed since Paul Weller dissolved The Jam, ask any fan and they'll still express confused disbelief (and yes, perhaps even a little bit of anger) at why one of the best bands this country has ever produced was ended so abruptly. Of course, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that Weller has sought to make good the huge vacuum left by breaking up The Jam - his large body of post-Jam work both as a solo artist and leading The Style Council surely marks him out as a hugely influential figure in British popular music.
So when the bassist of The Jam, Bruce Foxton, produces his first solo album for many decades, it's naturally going to raise considerable interest amongst those ageing Jam fans (those Fred Perry shirts are a little tighter across the chest than they used to be!) who continue to wonder what the band might have gone on to do had 'Beat Surrender' not been the last sound they ever heard from the Weller, Foxton and Buckler.
Well, this reviewer is very happy to report that Bruce Foxton (and his co-writer Russell Hastings) have delivered a great album which will bring a broad smile to any Jam fan. It's packed with brilliant melodic pop songs with Mod influences refreshingly to the fore.
I can't compete with the previous reviewer of this album who does a really admirable track-by-track commentary, so all I'll say is this: Bruce and his band (which includes contributions on a few tracks from one Paul Weller), have delivered an album that would sit proudly alongside anything The Jam produced. It's a vibrant, tuneful and soulful record that evokes (in a good way) a sound that most of us thought had probably passed away forever when The Jam split.
Good on you Bruce, good on you!