JUBILEE’S FIRST OF MANY FORGOTTEN CLASSICS: BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF
I was present for some of Jubilee’s first recording session in 147. I sure of this because I remember Jack recording his sax line for the A side of their eventual Hi Tone single - ‘Everyone’s Clown’. They arrived in to do a couple of days recording with Marc just as the Dead Elvis label was getting off the ground. I liked them initally despite my gut reaction to their extremely limited abilities as musicians. I wasn’t crazy about them though.They were all over the place really when trying to play their own songs. However some of those round me were crazy about them because of their self released single. The guys in Wormhole were actually in awe of them - something I didn’t really get. My brother Og, like Wormhole, was particularly crazy about the B side of the single and he raved about it and them. After a dose of repeated plays I got with the program. It’s an incredibly raw and emotional song. Again Og was a John Lennon fan when he was younger and I guess he heard something of John Lennon in the Plastic Ono Band era in this.
It was, on the surface, certainly unlike, in the rawness of the recording and performance, anything I’d heard him being into beforehand. I can’t remember what Marc and the other Eamonn thought about it but it definitely influenced our decision to do whatever we could to get them to record something for Dead Elvis as soon as possible.
I’ve just listened to it again for the first time in at least a decade. It’s blowing me away. It got no attention at the time or since - but Jesus - it’s a lost classic in my world. I would bet that Marc is responsible for the cheesy but quite lovely string synth line in the final part of the song. I also hear a violin. Is it real? Who played it? My mind is a blank. I also note that another song was recorded during the session and never released. I’ll have to follow up on that.
Thanks to Conor from Dublinopinion.com for the MP3. I have the single but it’s wrecked beyond belief. Dublin Opinion produced an audio documentary about the band in 2009 which is available at this link.
The photo below of Niall and Fergus is definitely from around that time. Their website indicates that it was their first ever publicity shot. Lee is absent from the shot. He drummed on the A side of the single which Jubilee released themselves on their own imprint.