The Jam: About the Young Idea

26 June – 27 September  2015
Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 (last admission 17.15)

Late night Thursdays & Fridays until 21.00 (last admission 20.15) 
East Wing Galleries, East Wing
Exhibition Ticket £9.50, concessions £7.00

This exhibition is now closed. 

This summer, Somerset House, in collaboration with Nice Time Inc Productions, is proud to present The Jam: About the Young Idea. With unprecedented access to The Jam’s archive, Somerset House has 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 is 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, includes 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. The exhibition, designed in reference to album artworks and featuring original graphics from celebrated artist Anthony Burrill, provides a unique and personal insight into the band’s trailblazing life and the retrospect legacy The Jam left on music, style, politics and culture.

About The Young Idea
The Very Best of The Jam

To coincide with the exhibition, on 22 June 2015, Universal Music is releasing a limited-edition CD entitled About The Young Idea – The Best of The Jam which includes some previously unavailable recordings. An exclusive package of exhibition tickets and the CD is available to purchase in the exhibition shop. The CD can also be preordered individually here from Universal Music for £9.99.

CD Tracklist

CD One 006025 4735060 2

1.            In The City (radio ad)
2.            In The City
3.            Art School
4.            Away From The Numbers
5.            Takin’ My Love (demo – previously unreleased)
6.            All Around The World
7.            The Modern World
8.            In The Street Today
9.            News Of The World
10.          David Watts
11.          Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
12.          Billy Hunt
13.          To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time)
14.          English Rose
15.          In The Crowd
16.          ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour St.
17.          Strange Town
18.          The Butterfly Collector
19.          When You’re Young
20.          Smithers-Jones
21.          The Eton Rifles
22.          Thick As Thieves
23.          Private Hell
24.          Saturday’s Kids
25.          The Burning Sky (demo)


CD Two 006025 4735061 9
1.            Going Underground
2.            Dreams Of Children
3.            Start!
4.            Liza Radley
5.            Pretty Green
6.            Monday
7.            That’s Entertainment
8.            Man In The Cornershop
9.            Boy About Town
10.          Funeral Pyre
11.          Absolute Beginners
12.          Tales From The Riverbank
13.          Town Called Malice
14.          Precious
15.          Ghosts
16.          Just Who Is The Five O’Clock Hero?
17.          Carnation
18.          The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
19.          Beat Surrender
20.          Move On Up
21.          Shopping
22.          Pop Art Poem


The Book: Growing up with… The Jam

An accompanying book, Growing up with… The Jam, is available now from the exhibition shop and online here.

Curator’s Spotlight Tours
Every Thursday 14.30-14.50 from 20 August 2015
East Wing Galleries, Free with admission. Limited spaces.

Exhibition curator Nicky Weller, sister of frontman Paul Weller takes us on a journey through the exhibition highlighting some of her favourite objects and the stories behind them. Along the way she reveals what it was like growing up with an iconic band, running the fan club and how family archives can create a fascinating curatorial environment.

Please note sign-up for these tours will take place at 14.00 on the day. As capacity is limited unfortunately we cannot guarantee a place, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Tours take place 17 and 24 September. 


Supported by

Sign up to our e-newsletter
Facebook Twitter YouTube instagram
September 2016
Designed and Developed by Earth