A top rock reggae band will reunite in Holmfirth this month.
Huddersfield’s Jab Jab, one of Britain’s first critically acclaimed groups in the genre in the 1970s, will get crowds jumping when they perform at Holmfirth’s Picturedrome on July 18 in support of The Beat at the Picturedrome’s Summer Ska Splash.
The reunion came about after film director Amanda Whittington and others started a crowd funding project to create a documentary on the band, which has also led to the release of some of the band’s material for the first time.
Called Keep on Smiling, the album, had been hidden away for 35 years in an attic along with dozens of other recordings and fuses rock, reggae, calypso, soca, punk, funk and Afro beats.
One of the founders, lead singer and bassist, Joe Augustine, said: “Hearing the lost recordings after all these years made me feel very emotional.
“Our philosophy was always to ‘make the bad times good and the good times better’ and we’re really excited to finally share our music.
“Although we’re older now, the passion and energy is still there and we can’t wait to get back on stage together with Mike Whittington playing bass.”
The album is planned to be the first of several released by Jab Jab, which was founded by Joe and his brother Charlie in 1970 after they emigrated from the West Indian island of Carriacou.
Renowned in the music press for their high-energy music and concerts, in their heyday they played over 200 gigs per year across Britain and Europe, including concerts with The Jam, Chic, Dire Straights, Steel Pulse, The Clash, The Boomtown Rats and Toya Wilcox.
Amanda, who will be able to make the documentary if £12,000 is raised, said the band want to hear memories of old fans for the film.
Speaking about the band, she said: “Like many bands, Jab Jab’s story is bittersweet. Despite their success and being one of the highest paid non-recording bands in the UK, they remained unsigned, resulting in their music being unavailable outside their concerts.
“Despite much A&R and major record company interest, no recording deal was struck.
“The real reason as to why is yet to be known, although record producers said they were unsure of where to fit Jab Jab’s unique style of cross genres into the categories of the day.”
Anyone with information can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to the project, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jabjab-reunion .