Just when I needed reminding; life can bring you pleasant surprises. Music continues to ease me along life’s bumpy road, and when I saw that One The Juggler were to release a new song, I was amazed. It’s been a while. It will be available as a separate download, but is also included on the re-release of their rare ‘Destination Planet Blue’ album, previously released in 2007 on CD. A collection of unreleased tracks, it passed me by, so I am doubly pleased.


New song ‘Clockwork Kitty’ was recorded by original members Sham Morris (vocals/guitar), Colin Minchin (guitar/b.vocals), and Jerry T Jones (bass/b.vocals), with Dave Lowe on drums. It’s pleasingly sleazy, as they wait in the Korova Milk Bar for said seductress. Lyrically not what I expected, as Sham hasn’t overtly referenced iconic literature before, but the melody and backing vocals put it clearly in OTJ territory.


The second extra track on the album, ‘Passenger’, is an absolute corker. I’m baffled as to why it wasn’t included anywhere before. Though, I have no information on when these tracks were recorded, so maybe it wasn’t possible at the time. Still, it’s got everything you want from the classic OTJ sound; an insistent melody, weird middle eight, great backing vocals. I’m immediately transported back to the first time I heard ‘Nearly A Sin’.


The majority of the ten other songs here are strong enough to have been on ‘NAS’ or ‘Some Strange Fashion’. I often puzzled as to why their first album sounded more like the Spiders From Mars than the second one did, which was produced by Mick Ronson. Pressure of time? ‘Conversations’ is a strong (original) opener. One of their strengths was always the importance of balancing both electric and acoustic rhythm parts, which ties most of these songs together. My first impression was of INXS, which gave way once the melody came in. It’s almost euphoric; “it’s good news week, let me see you smile”.


‘Body And Soul’ is a snappy number, hand-claps and “doo-doo-doo”s all present and correct. ‘Here Comes A Man’ is like two different songs; a slower, grinding riff gives way to a more complex chord sequence. The backing vocals are great throughout, but this does sound unfinished. ‘One Day At A Time’ should have made the grade, the sax under the vocal really lifts the song. A bright, optimistic tune.


‘Hallucination’ is simple, but effective, with the bouncing bass line urging it on. This is another common feature that separated them from their peers; quality and attention to detail. ‘The Party’ has a suitably woozy ambience, it sways along, a bit like ‘Bend It’ by Dave Dee, e.t.c, until the middle eight becomes more dramatic.


‘Get Up’ sounds like it might work better live, and does have more of a demo quality. But, ‘We Don’t Want No Love, ‘ The Sacred Thing’ and ‘One Hello’ are worth the admission fee. Reminiscent of Mott and Badfinger, but the spirit is pure OTJ. It’s a pleasure to hear these songs for the first time, and if One The Juggler meant anything to you, this is an essential purchase.

Author: Martin Chamorette

Real Vision Records