Jab Jab were one of the first English Rock Reggae bands. Their music was raw and energetic, breaking boundaries with a previously unheard fusion of Reggae, Rock, Soca, Calypso and African beats. The band was founded by Charles and Joe Augustine from the Caribbean West Indian island of Carriacou. The name Jab Jab originates from a Caribbean carnival. The traditional music of the island influenced many of the rhythms and sounds of the band. In the seventies they were greatly in demand with a large following, at one time being the UKs highest paid non-recording band. They were particularly known for their high energy and feel good vibe.
The gig would begin with the band emerging far from the stage, replicating Carnival traditions, with big drum, steel drum, shakers and whistles, infusing the audience with energy and expectation and drawing them to the stage. By the time the band started their first track the whole audience were already dancing.
The original line-up in 1970 was Charlie (previously of The Hightimers) on lead guitar and vocals, Joe (of The Groovers) on vocals, percussion and bass, ‘Fingers’ on bass and percussion, John Phillips on keyboards and Roy ‘Crunch’ Silvester on drums.
Later members included:
- Skinhead Dick – Drums
- Rob ‘Rombozo de Jab’ Whittington – Keyboards
- Lenny Lawrence – Integral roadie and crowd warmer
Wanting to make ‘the bad times good and the good times better’, Jab Jab played hundreds of gigs annually to audiences large and small throughout the UK and Europe. In the late seventies they were regulars of the main London music scene, playing the Music Machine (now Koko), Marquee, Hope and Anchor, Rock Garden, Lyceum, and the Hammersmith Odeon (now Apollo).
Jab Jab played alongside many big names such as The Jam, Chic, Dire Straits, The Clash, Misty in Roots, Steel Pulse, Aswad and many others. Extensive tours of Holland also saw them playing at the Melkweg and on Dutch radio.
They received many positive reviews in the Music press– NME, Melody Maker, Record Mirror, Sounds and Time Out.
Their music has only now become available with the unearthing of studio and live performance ¼” tapes and cassettes. These have been carefully restored and re-mastered by Iain McKinna at Offbeat Studio, Edinburgh. An album is due to be released in Spring 2015.
Now, after 30 years and dispersed over different continents, the Band are reforming…