In December 1996, I met Justin Brown in a bar in Nottingham. I’d been playing Neil Young covers while Justin had been playing his own material.
I liked his stuff, so we agreed to meet a few days later at my house to play some songs. We got on well, and the music flowed. Later, I was introduced to Gordon Robertson, a friend of Justin’s, who played bass.
Gordon was into Reggae and World music and complemented our wandering sound well. Then a few weeks later, we met drummer James Tricky, who was into Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Led Zeppelin, pushing our sound further.
We had a band within a few weeks of meeting Justin in that bar. We called it Jamshakcle. We had originally called it Ramshackle but thought Jamshakcle (purposely spelled wrong) would be cooler.
We started playing venues in Nottingham and Derby, and amazingly, people liked us. Our sound was ‘off-Pink Floyd, post-Zeppelin,’ someone told us. We weren’t looking for that sound; it just found us.
We recorded a demo tape in our flat in Nottingham — much to the annoyance of our neighbours downstairs. Produced by a sound engineer who had once worked with Pink Floyd, who happened to live down the road, and had seen us play.
We sent the tape off and received no response, but continued gigging in the area. During that time, we did a lot of charity and benefit gigs for various good causes, met a lot of great bands, and had some wild times.
After Gordon left to pursue other things, we recruited Lee White on bass, who had played in local hard rock bands throughout the 80s, and so our sound developed a rawer edge. With a new line-up, we recorded another demo with some new songs and continued to send material off to record labels in the hope someone might sign us — and give us some money!
Throughout 1997 and 1998, we continued gigging in the Midlands, as well as a mini-tour of France, plus a few gigs in London.
The band continued until late 1998 when it eventually folded, and we went our separate ways. We remain good friends.
I’ve mentioned my time in the band numerous times in my writing. We were never famous, recorded an album, or made any money. But those few years were, without a doubt, the most glorious of my life.
The four songs below were rescued from an old TDK cassette I found in my drawer and originally recorded at Rubber Biscuit Studios in Nottingham in March 1998. And is the only surviving material (as far as I know).
1. Feel The Power (Brown)
2. Confidence Fiend (Brown)
3. Got it made (Brown)
4. Do you know (what love is?) (Brown)
Jamshakcle were: Justin P Brown: Vocals, guitar. Philip Ogley: Guitar, backing vocals. James Tricky: Drums, percussion. Gordon Robertson: Bass, vocals, flute. Lee White: Bass. Paul Quadros: Guitar, fiddle
Photographs © 1997-1998 Stan Mellema (RIP)