3 February 1977 – The Jam & The Boys – Nag’s Head

Thursday 3rd February 1977 – The Jam and The Boys – Nag’s Head

The rise of the Punk Rock scene had provided the perfect vehicle for Woking’s mod revivalist band, The Jam.  Leader singer and guitarist Paul Weller had formed the band in 1972 at the age of 14.  By the time of their February 1977 appearance at The Nag’s Head, Weller was still only 18, with bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler – both 21 years old at the time – making up the three-piece.

The Jam came to High Wycombe on the back of several Ron Watts’ promoted gigs at The 100 Club and the trip to High Wycombe was a rare adventure outside of the capital at a time where they were on the verge of signing for Polydor.

A week after the Nag’s Head gig, The Jam recorded their first demos for Polydor – laying down four tracks: In The City, Time for Truth, Sounds From The Street and I’ve Changed My Address.  They would put pen to paper on their Polydor deal on 15th February 1977 and it was announced in the press on 24th February 1977.  The reported advance seemed a measly £6,000 compared to the £100,000 coughed up by CBS for The Clash in January 1977.

Their powerful, in your face, style proved popular with The Nag’s Head crowd and they returned to the same venue later in the year as a thank-you to Ron Watts.

Support for The Jam for the February gig were The Boys, a UK punk band formed in late 1976.

3 thoughts on “3 February 1977 – The Jam & The Boys – Nag’s Head”

  1. Is there corroborating evidence for this? I’m sure I remember the Jam and the Boys playing in ’76 with the nearly empty (even my regular gig buddies missed it) venue being enlivened by an onstage fight between the bands. I could be wrong but Weller and Co certainly played the Nag’s again in 77 with the place being rammed to the rafters (quite literally) and then the Town Hall some time later.

  2. Hi Kris, thanks for your comments – exactly what this site needs.

    The date of this gig is certainly in question.
    The 3rd February 1977 date is mentioned on porcelaingod.co.uk
    in particular this PDF
    Also on:

    Drummer Rick Buckler also mentions a Nag’s Head gig in his book ‘That’s Entertainment’.
    He says:

    “That early punk era could be especially unnerving at limes. In 1977 we played a gig in High Wycombe, The Nags Head, with a band called The Boys. They had been a punk band since the early days and had come out of another band called London SS. The Boys were our support act on that night and we had to share a dressing room with them. Things were a bit crowded and one of The Boys made some comment that caused a reaction in Paul [Weller]. It all flared up and Paul reached for a light ale bottle and smashed it on a table. Threatening someone with a broken bottle is far more effective. Paul pointed the smashed bottle at his opponent but it didn’t get the reaction he intended. Instead we all just stared at the bottle, well what was left of it. Paul had smashed virtually all of it away and only about an inch was left of the neck. It looked ridiculous and not exactly threatening. Having turned into a farce, kind of negated the incident, and nothing more happened.”

    However, the 3rd February 1977 date is listed in a Bucks Free Press advert as ‘Little Bob Story’, so Kris’s memory of an early appearance (late 1976) is quite possible. Ron Watts first promoted The Jam at The 100 Club in November 1976, so a Nag’s Head appearance around that time is very likely.

    The confirmed appearances for The Jam at The Nag’s Head later in 1977 are 12th May 1977 and 4th June 1977. Ron Watts then put on a 23rd July 1977 show at TheTown Hall – believed to be one of the first ‘rock concerts’ back at The Town Hall for a year or so.

    Anybody else have memories of a Jam appearance from late in 1976?

    1. Before my time but I do recall in 1979/80 very early large stickers for The Jam still being on the doors to the venue and up the staircase. It was a Who influenced type logo – black on grey, earlier than this logo that is the one that everyone remembers

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