Big Country Support The Jam

On the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th of December last year [1982] Big Country played in support to the Jam at Wembley Arena. Five Times. I don’t think Dennis Law played there that often. These were to be the Jam’s final shows in London and obviously everyone and his brother wanted to see them because of what they had done in music over the last six years. Nothing like a bit of nostalgia, what.

To me places the size of Wembley are not the ideal situation for a group and their fans to say thanks to each other. I have a lot of respect and admiration for what Paul Weller and Bruce and Rick have done and totally agree with a lot of Paul’s ideas on rock and roll, maaan… Anyway, it went like this. We would come on stage, unable to see the people at the back of the hall (100 yards away at least) and try to involve everyone who had never heard us, but it’s hard to treat people with respect (from both sides) in that situation. As we were playing you could feel the sound being swallowed up by the demon god aircraft hangar.

We played and a lot of people seemed to appreciate what we did. Best songs seemed to be Angle Park, Close Action, Porrohman and Fields of Fire. We did no encores, partly because it wasn’t our gig and partly because we didn’t feel the situation was right. These weren’t our people, but the Jam’s.

I have seen the Jam a few times since they began, but have never heard them sound so emotional on stage for about three years. The crowd were great and the band let no-one down. The sound was abysmal most of the time, especially at the back of the hall, but that wasn’t important. This was the climax of a group and it was very moving to know they would be splitting up afterwards and not allow themselves to be taken for granted.

The highlights for me were Boy About Town, Pretty Green, Ghosts, Move On Up, Dreams of Children, Bruce and Paul sharing microphones when Paul’s went faulty, Paul wrecking his guitar in sheer passion and the crowd… I just don’t think it should have been Wembley.

Cheers

Stuart Adamson (1983)

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