The Jolt were the first punk band to play a gig in Glasgow, and the first to sign with a major label when they inked a deal with Polydor. But they seem to have been forgotten, even in their native Scotland.
It was only when I dug out The Jolt’s debut single (You’re Cold/All I Can Do) from my collection that I remembered the minor contribution they made to punk history. For some reason they have been virtually written out of Scotland’s chapter – relegated below The Rezillos and The Skids (and even Johnny And The Self Abusers).
It’s unfair because there was (and is) more to them than just being the “Scottish Jam” – though their label clearly saw them as exactly that, dressing them up in Sixties suits, using similar artwork, and encouraging them to record a cover of The Small Faces hit Whatcha Gonna Do About It.
This may be the best Jam single The Jam never wrote or recorded.
They only lasted long enough to make one album, but they were probably happy with the extravagant £90,000 advance they received, even if none of their three singles made the charts.
They actually did support The Jam regularly, forming a relationship with Weller that yielded a very good song he wrote for them – See Saw – that appeared on their final release, the Maybe Tonight EP, in 1979.
I think I caught them supporting The Saints, whom The Jolt’s drummer Iain Shedden – a local newspaper journalist when the band formed – later passed through.
I’m not sure what happened to his bandmates Robbie Collins and Jim Doaks when the band broke up with unfortunate timing in 1979 – just as the short-lived Mod Revival began to kick in.
This is their third and, in my view, best single, I Can’t Wait.