In Echoed Steps, The Jam and a Vision Of AlbionPaul Skellett & Simon Wells
In Echoed Steps, The Jam and a Vision Of The Albion” revisits Britain in the early 1980s through the words and pictures of The Jam. Using Derek D’Souza’s estate of rare and largely unpublished photographs, designed by ARCHIVUM’s Paul Skellett and written by Simon Wells.
By 1981, The Jam was undoubtedly Britain’s most popular band. With a string of top ten singles and albums and a fan base that was measured in the hundreds of thousands, the loyalty shown to them by their fans was akin to what the previous generation had bestowed on The Beatles.
Nonetheless, the group’s lead singer and writer Paul Weller, was not in a hurry to sit back on his laurels. A sharp observer of the inequalities of life, through his songs he’d noted the appalling and dire state of Britain in the early 1980s. Weller’s observations, told of a nation depressed and despondent – the opportunities for the young seemingly ring-fenced to a select few. Hailing from a working-class background, he’d escaped the predictability of a mundane existence and had followed his dream – and yet he never left the world he came from behind.
While the Jam weren’t the only band communicating the disquiet, they were clearly the most outspoken group to occupy the top end of the charts, and their clarity of truth swept up legions of fans across the nation. On the group’s frequent concert tours of the UK, Weller took a sharp view of the landscape of Britain – especially beyond Watford where the so called beautiful South dissolved into the monochrome of the neglected and largely abandoned North of England. What he, and many others witnessed, was a truly broken and divided country. While the ruling classes put on a grubby show of decadence and unbridled wealth, the reality of over 3 million unemployed back-dropped by a diminishing industrial landscape, was a more than apparent nightmare for many.
“In Echoed Steps, The Jam and a Vision Of The Albion”, is a remarkable journey back to a remarkable time.