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Jona Lewie

Of all the artists who recorded for Stiff Records, Jona Lewie – born John G Lewis in Southampton – was probably the least well known, even though his career had been long and varied.

A former keyboard player and occasional frontman for Brett Marvin And The Thunderbolts – who recorded two albums, toured as support for Eric Clapton‘s Derek and the Dominos, and scored a smash hit called Seaside Shuffle under the name Terry Dactyl and The Dinosaurs – Lewie was one of several unconventional artists signed to the Stiff label.


As a Sociology student, Lewie met Dave Brock and they played some gigs while Brock was busy forming a band (which turned out to be Hawkwind).

He then recorded an album with Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup (who wrote the Elvis Presley hits That’s Alright and My Baby’s Left Me), called Roebuck Man.

On The Other Hand There’s A Fist maintained the quirky approach of earlier acts, but despite an appearance on the highly publicised “Be Stiff” tour, Lewie remained largely unknown until 1980 when You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties broached the UK Top 20.

A follow-up release, Stop The Cavalry, reached #3 later that year when its nostalgic brass arrangement proved popular in the Christmas market. However, a subsequent album, Heart Skips Beat, failed to consolidate this success.