Having left behind the happy land of break beats and silly samples. the JAMS are heading East up over the Pennine-straddling M62.

They pull up their truck on the hard shoulder. Behind them to the West they can still make out the sprawling connurbation of Greater Manchester, and those surrounding Lancashire towns, proud in their decline. Further West, somewhere beyond where Liverpool used to be, a dirty sunset sinks into the Irish Sea.

To the East it is already dark. The Yorkshire towns seek safety in the Pennine valleys. The strings of distant street lamps hold together communities like dew heavy cobwebs on a school playing field.

But up here on this unhealing gash across the backbone of England, the immediate landscape is a desolate moorland, with none of the grandeur of the Highlands of classic English beauty of the lakes.

Three bedraggled sheep huddle for shelter in a ditch. The drizzle toughens then climbs to a solid rain.

Heavy goods vehicles plough by. Tachographs overloading. A leaded grime smears the verges. Sodden Silk Cut packets wonder wether they are biodegrading. A crow flies North.

Through the downpour and diesel roar, Rockman and Kingboy can feel a regular dull thud. Wether this is the eternal echo of a Victorian steam driven revolution or the turbo kick of a distant Northern rave is irrelevant.

Thus inspired, the Jams climb into the back of their truck and work.

November 1990.

Suggested titles:

It’s Grim Up North

Tachograph Overload

128 and Rising

Jerusalem On The Moors