Hailing from Wishaw and Shotts, two industrial towns on the edge of greater Glasgow, The Jolt’s first step on the road to world domination was a Saturday lunchtime residency at the Crown Hotel, Wishaw.
Musically The Jolt were as strong and powerful as a lot of the early Jam stuff, although their lyrics certainly didn’t measure up.
Their songs were along standard New Wave themes; Decoyed, Dire Straights, Show Stoppers, Teenage Fun and the excellent Mr Radio Man.
They interspersed their original compositions with well-worked versions of oldies that showed their second-hand R&B influences – Bo Diddley‘s I Can Tell, Money, Route 66, I Wanna Be Your Man, Whatcha Gonna Do ‘Bout It and Somebody Help Me.
Producers Vic Smith and Chris Parry (the men behind The Jam) produced The Jolt’s self-titled debut LP (1978), so their recorded sound was unsurprisingly quite similar to The Jam: heavy bass, ringing power chords . . .
The Jolt also wore matching suits, had their hair cut at Vidal Sassoon (their liner notes informed us) and played songs of adolescent protest.
But ultimately, The Jolt were proof that timing is everything . . . If they had released their record in 1979 they would have hit the crest of the mod revival movement and probably been as big as Secret Affair or The Chords, if not The Jam.
Instead, they released it at the beginning of 1978 as their career was running down.
Iain Shedden went on to play with Aussie band The Saints and became a respected music journalist down-under. Shedden died suddenly in 2017 from haemopericardium, caused by a thoracic aortic aneurysm rupture. He was 60.
Guitar, vocals, harmonica