Episode 154: Steve Nichol – The Jam – 1981/82 – Trumpet & Keys + Loose Ends and more…

On this episode of The Paul Weller Fan Podcast, recorded at the Here Comes The Weekend event in Woking, I chat to another huge talent to join this incredible musical journey. Steve Nichol.
He’s a Multi-instrumentalist, Producer, Songwriter… who just happens to one of the founders of influential eighties Brit Soul flag bearers Loose Ends…
It was a joy to hear his memories of a year spent with on keys and trumpet with The Jam…

Live performances across the UK, Europe, US and Japan…
Top of The Pops… and music promo videos…
And on record with multiple tracks on the band’s final chart-topping album The Gift… and tracks on their final single releases…

His time with the band began towards the end of 1981

The Jam had already established themselves as a pretty awesome force to be reckoned with – riding the crest of a (new) wave from the world of punk to become one of the biggest bands in Britain.
Five Top 40 albums (Three of those hitting the Top Ten) and eleven Top 40 singles ( Five of those going Top Ten with a couple hitting the Number One spot!)….
However, as the band evolved and sought to expand their musical boundaries, they recognized the need for a fresh infusion of talent. Enter Steve Nichol, a multi-talented musician with an undeniable flair for trumpet and keys.
The Jam with a brass section… who’d have thought it?
Together with Keith Thomas (who sadly passed away last year), Steve’s addition to the line up brought a new dimension to their sound, blending melodic brass and keyboard contributions seamlessly with the band’s energetic new wave spirit.

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EP154: Steve Nichol – The Jam 1981-82 (Trumpet & Keys) + Loose Ends and more… Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul

5th October 1981 – Swedish TV

The Jam performed 3 songs on Swedish TV – Absolute Beginners, Tales From the Riverbank & Funeral Pyre.
Paul was also interviewed on the show.

By my reckoning this is the first time that we got to see / hear The Jam with added trumpet and saxophone from Steve Nichol and Keith Thomas. Do correct me if I’m wrong though…

October 1981 – BBC Radio 1 Session

Off the back of two CND benefits at Rainbow Theatre and Embankment came this Radio 1 session, which again featured the new brass section.

Presented by Adrian Love, with questions from Jam fans – Robert Hurst and Wendy Morgan Williams and a fan phone-in.
4 songs were performed on the programme…
You can hear the session here.

January 1982 – The Jam – Top of the Pops – Town Called Malice / Precious

After a relatively quiet year in 1981, the band made a triumphant return with a Motown-friendly slice of social realism, Town Called Malice, and the incredible funk of Precious. The double-A-side debuts at Number 1 and the band perform the songs back-to-back on Top of the Pops for the first time since The Beatles’ Daytripper/We Can Work It Out… Check out the performances below and look out for Steve Nichol on keys (that white glove!) and trumpet…

The Jam – Town Called Malice (Music Promo Video)

The Jam – Precious (Music Promo Video)

March 1982 – The Jam – The Gift

Talking to The Guardian in 2012, Paul Weller said “We’d already moved on from punk very quickly, and by [fifth album] Sound Affects there were a lot of disparate influences. We’d been a three-piece for years, and there are only so many variations on the guitar/drums format. So, rightly or wrongly, I was getting into brass sections and female vocals and keyboards and trying to expand our sound.”

The Gift is the sixth and final studio album from The Jam.
It was also the band’s first album to reach Number One, and would stay in the charts for nearly six months.
Steve plays trumpet on 7 of the 11 tracks.

Recorded March 1982 – The Jam – Trans Global Unity Express (Tour ’82)

The Jam kicked off their most ambitious tour yet in March 1982.
It ran for four months taking in Europe, Japan, Canada and the USA.

A recording of the tour was released on VHS & 12″ Laserdisc, with a DVD reissue in 2008.

21st March 1982 – A Sunday night at Bingley Hall in Birmingham, 5 cameramen with their cameras anchored to the pilllars to avoid the crush of more than 5’000 fans waiting in the mounting excitement to capture the power of The Jam live…

June 1982 – The Jam – Just Who is the 5 O’Clock Hero…

Just Who is the 5 O’Clock Hero reaches the Top 10 as a Dutch import, backed with two new songs, War and The Great Depression.
All three songs feature Steve on trumpet.

September 1982 – The Jam – The Bitterest Pill b-side = Pity Poor Alfie / Fever (Extra Tracks)…

The Jam’s penultimate single release peaked at Number 2… kept off the top spot by first by Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and then Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie”.

5th November 1982 – The Tube

The Jam perform their final TV appearance on Channel 4’s The Tube.
By my reckoning this is the final live performance for Steve and Keith with the band.
(Do correct me if I’m wrong though!)

November / December 1982 – The Jam – Beat Surrender (Extra Tracks)…

The Jam’s final single was released on 22 November 1982. It became the band’s fourth and last No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in December 1982

The 7″ single release featured Shopping on the b-side, with a limited edition double 7″ released also featuring Move on Up, Stoned Out of My Mind and War…
Steve played trumpet on all bar Beat Surrender.

December 1982 – The Jam – Dig the New Breed (Live Album)

Dig the New Breed was the final album by The Jam, excluding compilations released after the group’s split. It is a collection of live performances recorded between 1977 and 1982. By my reckoning, Steve plays on Side 1 – Tracks 5, 6 and 7 , and most of Side 2.
Do correct me if I’m wrong though as there are no credits listed on this one.

Dig the new Breed Album Cover

Start!, Big Bird and Set the House Ablaze – all from the Hammersmith Palais, London, 14 December 1981.

Ghosts was recorded at Bingley Hall, Birmingham on 21 March 1982.

In the Crowd at the Edinburgh Playhouse, 6 April 1982.

Going Underground, Dreams of Children, That’s Entertainment and Private Hell from Glasgow Apollo, 8 April 1982.

1993 – The Jam – Live Jam

Compiled by Dennis Munday, Live Jam was released in October 1993.

Tracks 14 to 18 – Pretty Green, Boy About Town, Man in the Corner Shop, David Watts and Funeral Pyre – recorded live at The Palais, London, December 15, 1981.
Tracks 19 & 20– Move on Up and Carnation – recorded live at The Apollo, Glasgow, April 8, 1982.
Track 23 – Town Called Malice – recorded live at The Palais, London, December 14, 1981.
Track 24 – Heat Wave – recorded live at The Playhouse, Edinburgh, April 6, 1982.

1997 – The Jam – Direction, Reaction, Creation Boxset

Released in 1997, Direction Reaction Creation is a 5CD box which gathers together pretty much everything the Jam ever recorded: B-sides and hard-to-get singles as well as every track from those six albums.
The package also included a well-written 88-page book commemorating every release and every gig the Jam played. The fifth disc is the real bonus: 22 unreleased tracks, including demos (“In The City”, “Precious”, “The Bitterest Pill”); covers (“Rain”, “Dead End Street”, “Stand By Me”); and alternate takes (“A Solid Bond In Your Heart”, “Billy Hunt”, “That’s Entertainment”).
The tracks below have credits for Steve Nichol on trumpet.

4-6 – Precious (12″ Version)
4-8 – Ghosts – Recorded at Air Studios in October 1981.
4.9 – Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero? – Recorded at Air Studios in January 1982.
4-10 – Trans-Global Express – Recorded at Air Studios in February 1982.
4-11 – Running on the Spot – Recorded at Air Studios in January 1982.
4-12 – Circus – Recorded at Air Studios in October 1981.
4-13 – The Planner’s Dream Goes Wrong – Recorded at Air Studios in January 1982.
4-16 – The Great Depression – Recorded at Maison Rouge Studio in February 1982.
4-18 – Pity Poor Alfie / Fever (Trumpets with Steve Dawson) – Original recording at Air Studios in July 1982.
4-20 – Shopping – Recorded October 1982 at Phonogram Studios.
4-21 – Move on Up – Recorded October 1982 at Marcus Studios.
4-22 – Stoned Out of My Mind – Recorded October 1982 at Marcus Studios.
4-23 – War – Recorded October 1982 at Marcus Studios.
5-17 – Tales From The Riverbank (Alternate Version) (also with Keith Thomas on Soprano Saxophone)

2002 – The Jam…at the BBC

Disc 2 – We got an official release of the 1981 Radio 1 session mentioned above – ‘Studio B15’ live on 25 October 1981 as the band played Absolute Beginners, Tales From The Riverbank, Funeral Pyre and Sweet Soul Music.
Tracks 9 to 20 on this release were performed for fan-club members concert at the Hippodrome, Golders Green 19 December 1981… The BBC broadcast the gig in February 1982.

The Jam at the BBC

The Gift
Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
Absolute Beginners
Tales From The Riverbank
Town Called Malice
In The Crowd
Pretty Green
Boy About Town

Loose Ends and more…

In the early 1980s, Steve formed Loose Ends with Carl McIntosh and vocalist Jane Eugene.
They achieved their first success with Steve’s tune ‘Hangin’ On A String (Contemplating)‘, reaching #13 in the UK charts. It also became the first ever British No.1 on the US R&B Billboard Chart, knocking Prince off the top of the charts!. 

1984 – A Little Spice, released in May 1984, hits number 5 in the US R&B charts.
1985 – So Where Are You? released in August 1985, goes silver climbing to number 13 in the UK charts.
1986 – Zagora – released in May 1986, goes silver in the UK, hitting number 15 in the UK charts and 7 on the US R&B charts.
1988 – The Real Chuckeeboo – released in June 1988 – reached #52 in the UK. In the USA it peaked at #16 on the R&B chart and #80 on the Billboard albums chart.

In 2018, we got the first new music from Steve Nichol in 30 years!
And what a comeback… with three absolute gems released in the space of 8 months.
Released in March, Dangerous Romance – co-written with Ellene Masri, conceptualised by Steve and composed by Soulpersona, this track bleeds soul. A haunting but captivating melody and delicately tuned vocal by Ellene, complimented with the groove of Ben Edwards horns, the smooth sax of Richie Beesley, the harmonies of Terry Lewis’s guitars and the dripping fat bassline from Punk Pappa.

Following on a month later came Mellow Hill ft Ragan Whiteside is an early morning summer sunrise over London as the city awakes. There is something in the air and this music in the mind.

What The released in October 2018, saw Steve working with the legendary George Anderson of Shakatak on production, mixing and bass. Touching the big band jazz vibe under the delectable vocals and lyrics from Debby Bracknell.

Playlist from Desperately Seeking Paul

A few highlights from The Jam, Loose Ends and Steve Nichol…

Published by PaulWellerFanPodcast

The World’s first Paul Weller Fan Podcast - For the fans by the fans. A musical journey from In The City to Fat Pop (Vol 1). A radio broadcaster who gave up his career with one big regret. Never getting to interview the legendary British musician Paul Weller. This podcast exists purely to solve that issue. Welcome to Desperately Seeking Paul...

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