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Saturday, 21 October 2017

In Echoed Steps a Vision of Albion

There have been many books that have documented the life and times of the 'Woking Wonders' over the last few years. 2015 - 2016 saw two huge years which celebrated milestones in the bands career in the form of two superb exhibitions and a major T.V. documentary which if I say so myself was pretty good... Bookwise there's Stu and Snowy's 'Thick as Thieves' which documents just how much The Jam meant to their fans and it really is a superb piece of work. Then last year Nicky Weller curated 'Growing Up With The Jam' which really makes apparent just how many people were influenced by the band and how the band's influence lead many people onto extremely successful careers. It includes the likes of Martin Freeman and Michael Douglas to say the least. Growing up with and Thick as Thieves show the reader how The Jam broke down the wall between a huge band and their fanbase allowing them to be part of the gang too. So 2017 brings us onto, 'In Echoed Steps a Vision of Albion' and one word to describe it would be stunning.

Looking through this beautiful piece of work you find yourself really thinking hard about the band's wider influences. Like Modernism they didn't just focus on one particular thing per instance clothing. It was the whole attitude, they way they walked, sang and even tied their shoe laces. The Jam were so much more than just a band and 'In Echoed Steps' really brings this to the fore. The book comes to life like a scrapbook on LSD throwing hallucinations of that era right at ya. The images it presents are ones that you would find if you delved inside Weller's head circa 75-82 and are really something. When I was 10 and got seriously into music The Jam were my first port of call. I never understood how someone could write that many great songs, but looking at 'In Echoed Steps' you can see how it was inevitable for Weller with this wealth of cool influences. The chaps have done such a superb job of brining to life the creative cauldron of Modernism that was Paul, Bruce and Rick.

Derek's photography with Simon's editorial work and research and Paul's art and design work is a trio of talent which has produced a fine piece of work. Quotes pop out at you from every angle which makes for great reading. Like Modernism you feel like you are constantly progressing your education whilst reading through this book. I for one thought I knew everything there was to know about 'the best fucking band in the world' BUT I have once again been proved wrong. I'm pleased by this factor as it's always great to learn more and take on board more inspiration and influence. 'In Echoed Steps' speaks of the political landscape surrounding The Jam when at their height. A political landscape which has so many parrells to the rubbish we are being served with now in 2017.... It never changes eh! Cited by Weller himself many times the fab four are one of his biggest influences so it's ace to see a few pics of them too.

Overall 'In Echoed Steps' breaks boundaries and pushes the creative outlets of these three very talented chaps to new heights. It's a stunning piece of work which should be on every discerning Modernist's shelf. Once again The Jam's legacy has been given new life and will continue to inspire people in many ways, shapes and forms because of this book. I for one am all for new ways of showcasing one of the bands who changed my life. There's far too many people who speak of the same old shit stories and cliched memoirs of days gone by. That's been done to death and finally like we had with 'Thick as Thieves' and 'Growing Up With..' we have something fresh, beautiful and new again to feed our obsession with a band that still haven't been touched to this day... Go and buy it eh!!

Get it here


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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger