The inaugural release from Strawberry Records, ‘Halcyon Days’ aims high in terms of 60s entertainment. Bringing together a great selection of mod, soul and freakbeat sides, it presents famous names alongside forgotten heroes; places cult floor fillers, deep cuts and a few genuine rarities among fantastic (and sometimes very interesting) covers of well known tunes. Across nearly 90 tracks, it sets itself up as a varied and comprehensive listen. It’s very much the kind of set tailor made for those who’ve worn out the more bog-standard mod comps and are looking for a world beyond The Action, The Creation and those much-loved Spencer Davis Group hits.
Although only a recording unit for just under six years, The Jam left behind a musical legacy that influenced the generations to come; from the whole of the Britpop movement, through to The Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs and so many others, The Jam had, in turn, become as influential as the bands which had influenced them. The songs penned by the young Paul Weller – whether capturing heartfelt political statements, the anger of youth or an occasional melancholy ballad – set him on the road to being one of Britain’s finest songwriters, a man whose lyrics have really stood the test of time.
The first two releases from The Computers showed a band firmly rooted in garage-based rock rock. In the three years between their debut EP (2008’s ‘You Can’t Hide From…’) and their first full length release (2011’s ‘This Is The Computers’), although still raucous, the band had tempered the rawest end of their sound with a hefty dose of punk ‘n’ roll. That shift was hugely influenced by the album’s producer, Rocket From The Crypt’s John Reis, bringing a new dimension to the band’s sound.