In what has become something of an annual tradition the Greenman MCC took over The Jamaica Inn for a day of Chaos at the Jam. All afternoon live music was on offer in ‘The Jam’s’ garden with the likes of The Crowman and Chloe Le Page playing while people relaxed in the sun on one of the hottest days of the year so far.
I arrived for the event’s evening session and just caught the last couple of tracks from newcomers Clameur De Haro who were last band outside. Despite some problems with broken strings and the like the band were just as fun as their debut in Sark had suggested and seemed to go down very well.
After a short break while some of the gear was moved inside it was Paz Caminar who started the live, fully electric, music in the Jam’s lounge bar. Being the band’s debut gig I really didn’t know what to expect from Paz Caminar and, as they were setting up and sound checking it still wasn’t clear.
With a set that included a couple of Stooges numbers and some other noisy punk-y things that I’m not sure were covers or originals it’s the sort of music I usually very much enjoy. Unfortunately, with most of the songs it seemed each band member was playing to a different rhythm and, while on the familiar tracks the right riffs were there, none of it seemed to slot together quite right.
Paz Caminar’s most coherent moment came when they were joined on stage by LJ on lead vocals for The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog but even that was at best sloppy.
I was left with the feeling that what Paz Caminar were presenting was the sound of a stereotypical underground punk club, but rather than the likes of those who would break out into international recognition, they had the sound of the, no doubt, many hundreds of bands left forgotten.
Jawbone were next up and had the audience engaged from the start as those who’d headed outside during Paz Caminar, made their way back in. Blasting through a set of punk rock spanning The Damned, The Misfits and The Ramones to Alkaline Trio, Rancid and The Vandals, the four-piece certainly brought the fun on what was only their second outing.
While they were far sloppier here than their first gig, all four members also seemed a lot more relaxed and they hit the balance between being relaxed, having fun, and playing the songs.
This meant that a few bum notes were easily forgiven as the crowd sang along and danced away and frontman Steve Scratton really began to interact with the crowd like this kind of music in this kind of venue calls for.
The Doomsday Project had a tough job following Jawbone as the young band play a generally softer take on a similar style to the pop-punk in Jawbone’s set. As they got rolling though things did pick up.
With a couple of years now under their belt The Doomsday Project have certainly got tighter and their performance has become more rounded, however they are still doing predominantly the same covers they always have. This leads to a bit of a lack of any surprise in their sets and some of the songs seem to not suit the guys playing them – and learning the difference between pronouncing “Zeig Hail” and “Zeig Heil” in Green Day’s Holiday would certainly help to let us know they understand what they’re singing about.
That said, by the end of the set, with a storming cover of Jilted John’s Gordon Is A Moron and an original called Rumours which was about teenage life and actually seemed to see the band adding some reality into their set, they ended on a high which saw them called back for another go at the Jilted John song that had people singing along.
Static Alice rounded off the night with a set largely based in party mode with the covers by the likes of AC/DC, Billy Idol and Muse alongside originals that mix the pop-rock vibe of Foo Fighters with a sprinkling of the funky side of the good bits of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, that made for a fine upbeat ending.
While it was so hot on stage (and in the crowd as well) that sweat was literally dripping off the performers, they never slowed up and had the crowd engaged and dancing from the start.
While the audience did dwindle as the set went on, I wouldn’t like to say why for sure, but the stifling conditions must have been a factor, those who stayed inside kept dancing and while the band may not have been their slickest there was still plenty to like as the venue brought to mind something of the sweat soaked walls of past gigs at Chandlers (sadly another venue that’s no longer with us).
Ending on a cover of Highway To Hell seemed an appropriate send off for the day on several levels and brought to a close the annual tradition of Chaos at the Jam in fine form once again – same again next year I guess!