mp3 : Jilted John – Jilted John
One of the first bits of music to be produced by the soon to be legendary Martin Hannett (then known as Martin Zero), Jilted John was the creation of 19-year old Manchester Polytechnic drama student Graham Fellows. Yes, it’s a novelty single about the end of a romance but it was, and still is, catchy as fuck and well worthy of the sales that took it to #4 in September 1978.
Graham Fellows would go on to find some more fame and fortune with another comedy creation in the late 80s in the shape of John Shuttleworth, a 50-something aspiring singer/songwriter from Sheffield who writes his material with the aid of a Yamaha organ and drum machine. The comedy came in the main from the character’s complete lack of self-awareness about the gap between his musical talent and his wholehearted belief that he could still make it as a pop star combined with the sort of wholesome yet surreal humour that would later propel Peter Kay to success. And what could have been a one-trick pony has continued to enjoy continued success for nigh on 30 years now, and of course where Fellows was once getting laughs from portraying a character much older than himself, he and Shuttleworth are about the same ages now.
But in-between Jilted John and John Shuttleworth there was a little known LP released by Graham Fellows in 1985 entitled Love at the Hacienda on Wicked Frog Records. It sold abysmally despite some very positive reviews….and nowadays is worth quite a bit of money as it has been so long out of print. There was a CD re-issue in 2004 and the one second-hand copy I could find on-line would need £54 to be handed over to the seller on amazon.
Jacques the Kipper being a man of impeccable taste has a copy of the album and he stuck these two tracks towards the end of side A of Tape, sandwiched between Marimba Jive by Red Guitars and closing track Considering A Move To Memphis by Colorblind James Experience. No wonder we hit it off right away:-
mp3 : Graham Fellows – Love At The Hacienda
mp3 : Graham Fellows – Seven Pints And A Suicide
It’s indie-twee, but not as we would come to know it in the C86 era.