Mickey Jupp "A Fan report"

The following text is taken from Dave Vickers fan report
This was sent to me many years ago when those pages originally started to take plan, thanks Dave.

This is re-published with kind permission by Dave Vickers as it was intended from the very beginning.

Mickey Jupp


"You don't know me - we've never met
But I know you man and that's what you get
You're my hero and I'm a fan"

I first encountered Mickey Jupp during my student days in Sheffield. The 'Be Stiff Tour '78', which also featured Wreckless Eric, Rachel Sweet with backing band The Records, Jona Lewie and Lene Lovich, reached Sheffield Top Rank on Sunday 5th November 1978. The entourage travelled by train across the country starting at Bristol University on the 10th October and ending at the London Lyceum on the 19th November 1978. A final date was added later at the Bottom Line Club in New York.

The Records (including Will Birch on drums - ex Kursaal Flyer with Rockpile connections) opened the Sheffield set without Rachel Sweet, who was suffering with a throat infection. At the time I was not familiar with their material, although I do remember 'Rock and Roll Love Letter' being included.

They were followed by Lene Lovich who sang, among others, her latest chart hit 'Lucky Number'.

Then Mickey Jupp and his band strolled onto the stage. I was immediately captivated by his laid back approach and the quality of the songs. I'd not heard any of his repertoire before, but I could not forget the instantly likeable 'Switchboard Susan' and a song containing the phrase 'you ain't got me going babe, you got me gone' (was this 'So Long' or 'Don't Talk To Me'?).

Jona Lewie followed Mickey's set, with Wreckless Eric finally rounding off the evening in style.

All members of the tour including Rachel Sweet joined Wreckless Eric for a rousing finale, but I don't recall what song they closed the show with (probably 'Be Stiff').

I read a report later that Mickey would not be appearing with the rest of the tour members at the final show in New York due to his alleged fear of flying. Refer to the lyrics of 'Never Get Me Up', however later songs such as 'Orlando FLA' and 'Little Miss America' would suggest that he was overcoming that fear. I still do not know to this day whether Jupp has ever made it to the States, although I suspect he never has.

Sometime late 1979 (I don't have a record of the date), Mickey came to Sheffield again. This time it was to the now long defunct Limit Club (where the Human League were formed). His set included tracks from 'Juppanese' and 'Long Distance Romancer' along with a number of covers such as 'Bony Marony', 'Memphis', 'St James Infirmary' and 'Let's Stick Together'. Fortunately, I still have a copy of the original set list that Mickey used that night. It is interesting to note from this list, a song titled 'Crossroads', which I believe was probably an early version of 'Standing At The Crossroads', a song that did not appear on record until 1991.

In 1980 I moved to London for a few years, and was fortunate to see Mickey play again at Wimbledon F.C. Social Club, Plough Lane (sometime in early 1981) and the Golden Lion, Fulham (twice, I think, the second time being on 6th June 1981). Although I wasn't familiar with some of the newer songs, as I'd not seen the latest album anywhere, the set list comprised of tracks from 'Oxford' and a selection of old standards.

The next occasion was in late 82/early '83 at a pub near Kings Cross/Euston (don't remember the name of the place), where Geraint Watkins joined him on stage towards the end of the set on piano. I had spotted Geraint at the bar in an adjoining room earlier in the evening, and by the time he had reached the stage he was well and truly 'under the influence'. As a result Geraint sang one song (probably a standard although I don't remember what it was), which was full of expletives, and clearly embarrassed Jupp.

The final occasion I had the privilege of seeing Mickey play live was on the 11th August 1983 at the Red Lion, 318 High Street, Brentford. The Red Lion was a haunt that I was to frequent on a regular basis during 1983 and early 1984 as I'd moved into a flat for twelve months in nearby Hanwell. 'Shampoo, Haircut & Shave' was about to be released, so many of the night's songs came from that album. One recollection was that his new wife was in the audience. There are a couple of songs on the album inspired by her. I may be wrong, but I don't think that the marriage lasted very long. I also particularly remember that he kept referring to how young his drummer, Paul Atkinson, was. Spotted Billy Bremner drinking alone at the bar on this particular night, looking rather worse for wear. After awhile I plucked up the courage to speak to Billy, commenting on how good I thought Jupp was. He mumbled something back but was clearly not in the mood to hold any sort of conversation.

So there you have it. Memories of some great Jupp nights that I have had the good fortunate to have witnessed. Apparently in recent years he has done five tours with the Swedish band The Refreshments in Scandinavia, and a handful of very low-key gigs here in the U.K. Hopefully it won't be too long before we see him on stage here again.

Dave Vickers