23 July 1977 – The Jam/New Hearts/Cocksparrow – Town Hall

The first ‘rock concert’ at High Wycombe Town Hall for more than a year saw The Jam attract a near sell out crowd to the Town Centre venue.  With three previous High Wycombe appearances to their name at the The Nag’s Head, this was the first chance for many locals to witness, not only a ‘rock concert’, but also anything approaching the ever growing ‘punk’ scene.

Bucks Free Press advert for The Jam at The Town Hall – followed by Elvis Costello and then The Darts at The Nag’s Head

The date at The Town Hall on Saturday 23rd July 1977 came at the end of The Jam’s first major UK tour.  On 4th June 1977 The Jam had played a Ron Watts’ promoted gig at The Nag’s Head following a abortive attempt to join The Clash on their White Riot tour.  It was packed that evening in June 1977 and by the time of their return at The Town Hall they had played close to forty more dates nationwide – including iconic venues such at Erics Liverpool and The Electric Circus in Manchester.  The tour would climax on the evening following the Town Hall date when they would play their biggest venue to date, with an appearance at The Hammersmith Odeon in West London.

With a debut single, debut album and appearances on Top of the Pops behind them, their new single release – All Around The World – a week before this date made this the busiest Saturday evening seen in High Wycombe for years.

Also interesting to note the support acts that evening.  New Hearts appear to be another mod revivalist band formed in early 1977 with Ian Page (vocals), David Cairns (guitar),  and Matt McIntyre (drums).  Page and Cairns would later become disillusioned with the ‘punk’ scene and in 1978 would form a self confessed ‘mod’ band in the form of Secret Affair.

Cocksparrow have a history dating back the early 1970’s.  Founder members were Colin McFaull, Mick Beaufoy, Steve Burgess and Steve Bruce.  It was the rise of the punk rock movement in 1976 that seems to have been the catalyst for their break – signing a record deal with Decca in 1977 and releasing their first single in May 1977 – ‘Runnin Riot’.  That and the following single – Rolling Stones’ cover ‘We Love You’ didn’t meet the sales expectations of the record company and they were dropped in 1978.  Despite that set-back, their popularity rose again as a result of the 1980’s ‘Oi’ scene and they were still performing at the time of this post in July 2017.

Here’s The Jam performing All Around The World on Top of the Pops– released a week before their performance at High Wycombe Town Hall on 23rd July 1977.

Was The Jam’s appearance at The Town in July 1977 your first ever gig?

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