Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Bruce Foxton - Back In The Room (2012)

Cattle spars across the room....


Released October 2012

Recorded at - Unknown

This was Bruce Foxton’s first solo work since 1984 and it is not a bad effort, but it is, unsurprisingly very Jam-influenced. However, the material is certainly better in quality than the often patchy stuff Foxton wrote for The Jam.


1. Ride

2. Number Six
3. Don't Waste My Time
4. Window Shopping
5. Glad I Found My Tears
6. The Wide Open Road
7. Find My Way Home
8. The Gaffa
9. Drifting Dreams
10. Coming On Strong
11. Reflection
12. Senses Of Summer                                 

Beginning with a Jam-style bass dominated instrumental in Ride, Number Six is pure Smithers-Jones Jam fare. Don't Waste My Time is actually a soulful attempt to diversify slightly in sound but there is something in the use of the brass section and the melodious, easily singable sound that just makes one recall The Jam, particularly the 1981-82 phase. Foxton now uses another vocalist on some of the songs, one Russell Hastings, who sounds incredibly like Paul Weller.

Poor old Bruce often seems to be re-writing Carnaby Street several times over, utilising the same couplet style lyrics and often virtually the same tune. Window Shopping is a classic example. It is, as with many of these later efforts, better than the original 1977 track. Some excellent guitar and organ have insured that. Glad I Found My Tears is so influenced by old band mate Weller’s Style Council/early solo material. The verses are very redolent of Weller’s Style Council track, The Ghosts Of Dachau. Hastings even enunciates “thunder” as “funder” just as Weller did on The Jam’s Monday

The Wide Open Road is an instrumental that sounds like The Jam limbering up in the studio before adding lyrics. Foxton also seems to be unable to shake off the Weller influence in that he has modelled much of the album on Weller’s early Traffic/Humble Pie/ Revolver-era Beatles material. Nowhere is this better exemplified than on the frantic, guitar-driven Find My Way Home. The Gaffa continues in the same, but in more of a blues rock style, almost like Dr. Feelgood in places. Weller has recorded material like this on Wake Up The Nation, only two years earlier. 

Coincidence? I think not. Drifting Dreams sounds almost exactly like Weller it is untrue. If you played this to a person who knew The Jam and Paul Weller’s music, but were not 100% fans, they would think it is indeed him. Senses Of Summer is a bucolic, whimsical number of which Weller himself would be proud.

The Jam/Style Council/Paul Weller influences are so obvious on this album and would continue on to the next album four years later. Try as Bruce Foxton might, he simply can’t shake off his old mate.



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