Marimba Jive

They've got ways to dislocate a culture, boss your soul and make you look so much older…

Marimba Jive was recorded at Fairview Studios, Willerby in August 1984. The recording was engineered by Roy Neave and produced by Roy Neave and the Red Guitars. It was issued in 7" (SCAR14) and 12" (SCAR14T) formats on the 21st of August 1984 with Heartbeat Go! on the b-side.

The single was Adrian Thrills Single of the Week in the NME on 20th of October 1984 and went to Number One in the Independent charts.

Marimba Jive sleeve.

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: Hear that? That noise? Sounds like a train...kerrrash! Four singles into an erratic but far from uninteresting career, it was about time for Hull's Red Guitars to either put up or shut up; provide the Humber rhumbas to match the ideologically sound rhetoric or consign themselves to a life of beckoning obscurity.

With Marimba Jive they have chosen the former course and chosen it superbly. Resisting the obvious temptation to refine their sound to attract the majors, the group - still resolutely independent - have gone to the other extreme and roughed it up to devastating effect.

By mixing a chiming African highlife guitar with a racy rock backbeat, they have combined the bounce of the Beat with the abrasive edge of early Buzzcocks and produced their most colourful and contagious single to date.

Marimba Jive sounds like four or five songs in one, all rushing to get to the climax first, its glorious clutter appealing even to this lifelong admirer of Clearasil clarity. There again, when one is faced with something that sounds like an express train careering off the rails or a herd of buffalo thundering across the prairies, it is not wise to argue. Play loud. Shake out these blues and roll in those Red Guitars.

Adrian Thrills, NME, 20/10/84.

Marimba Jive

lyrics by Jeremy Kidd, music by Hallam Lewis

They've got ways to dislocate a culture
Boss your soul and make you look so much older
Shine a light in your pale eyes
Loose the truth in a complex of lies
The brutalist tradition.

They try to keep my marimba under
Sap her strength and steal her thunder
We wanna rock, we wanna roll, we wanna rumba
Dance another dance and roll another number - yeah
Imperial tradition.

The land is rich but the country's barren
The table top and the golden hem
The wire tap, the rule of the baton
They need marimba just to liberate them
Apartheid tradition.

So strike a note on the x-y-i-lophone
Strike a chord in the coldest heart
Marimba jive - jive and survive!
Marimba rings long distance
Join the birds and fly south for the winter.

Marimba Jive quotes...

Mayhem with a motive. Jive and power in double dealing duplicity and in jarring juxtaposition. Rock and Roll has few gutsy groups today and the Red Guitars are one of these. Long live the Red Guitars and their revolutionary realism.   Paul Shaw, Northampton Evening News, September 84.

We recorded this for a Peel session at Maida Vale with a BBC producer called Dale Griffin who was a notorious miserable bastard. At one point we were all laughing at John doing his “African Women Dancing” routine through the control room window and he turned round and said “If you want to laugh get outside!” How to make friends and influence people.   Hal

Light the blue touch paper and stand back! On a good night, if we got MJ in the right place in the set list, we had lift off.   Jeremy

We had a go at recording this at Matrix in London with John Porter but it didn't work. It was far too fast and had some dodgy sax stuff on it. Time to get back to Hull and Roy Neave!   Matt