Yes, here come the Jellies. All over again. To be honest they never really made it the first time, even though they tried. This very small band got together in 1981 and made just one 7” single. There are tales of long loops running from tape machines around pencils along hallways throughout the recording. There the story of them pressing up about 1,000 copies on their own Jelly Records label. They speak of getting it played on John Peel’s Show, and selling about 15 copies to Rough Trade. And then nothing. This was back in 1981. There is one photo of the band. Most of the unsold records were scrapped and are now part of the UK’s landfill. The band never recorded again, it was a disaster.
Fast forward nearly 30 years and there are rumblings about the 7” online. Thurston Moors finds an original 7” and plays it ten times in a row in one of his NYC DJ sets. It turns up on the WFMU beware the blog. Trunk Records license it from the two original writers. And now it’s here again, this time as a fun filled 12”, with a radio edit and three new mixes. One mix is by Georges Vert AKA The Advisory Circle with his dubby clubby disco hat on, one by Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly, and one by Tommy Stupid and Jonny Trunk who played it backwards. We think it’s great in a hooky, post punk slightly Tom Tom Club sort of way. And it’s possibly the first ever recording from the 80s issued by Trunk. Which feels a bit weird, But I like it none the less.
Here is a review from DJ Mag from 2010. The Jellies ‘Jive Baby On A Saturday Night’ (Trunk)
Curious new-wave re-issue plucked from oblivion (the legend has it that after it’s poor initial sales of 30 copies; the remainder were condemned to landfill), that caused a small stir in one of the golden years of post-punk – 1981.
It’s a total mystery as to why ‘Jive Baby On A Saturday Night’ was not a hit at the time as it boats a cool, deadpan punk attitude similar to that of Tom Tom Club or the trippy, spun-out grind of Rammellzee vs. K-Rob’s hip-hop holy grail, ‘Beat Bop’. John Peel championed it on many occasions and even Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore rinsed it’s memorable, low-slung bassline over the years.
Finally, in 2010, dear Jonny, over at Trunk HQ, has done the decent thing and pulled off this immaculate re-issue job, with the addition of three fitting remixes from the likes of Georges Vert (aka Jon Brooks of The Advisory Circle on the fantastic Ghost Box label), Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly and Trunk himself (with the aid of Tommy Stupid of renowned UK hardcore/thrash troupe, The Stupids). Essential and destined to sell more now than it did then.