Somerset House, in collaboration with Nice Time Inc Productions, presented The Jam: About the Young Idea. With unprecedented access to The Jam’s archive, Somerset House curated the first comprehensive exhibition about the extraordinary band whose music immortalised life for Britain’s disenchanted youth during the late 70s and early 80s.
Through unseen material and fan memorabilia, the exhibition charts the trio’s journey from Sheerwater Secondary Modern in Woking to superstardom, kick-started by the release of their debut hit single ‘In The City’, whose lyrics are referenced in the exhibition’s title, and ended six years later with 18 consecutive UK top 40 singles and over 14 million global album sales.
For the very first time, all three members of the band – Paul Weller, Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton – the Weller family and music archivist Den Davis have opened up their archives, especially for the show. The collection, which was curated by frontman Paul’s sister and former head of The Jam’s fan club Nicky Weller, Tory Turk and Russell Reader with additional advice from DJ Gary Crowley, included hand written lyrics, original stage outfits, personal photographs and footage, unreleased music videos, early scrapbooks, letters and postcards, posters and fanzines, and the band’s instruments.