Jungle Love by Bard of Ely was once in Q magazine and now remastered
The story of Jungle Love begins
Jungle Love was a song I wrote way back in 1989 in response to a letter from a record company that said my material was not commercial enough. Their response inspired me to pen the lyrics of Jungle Love as a Pop song and not a serious composition.
It took the basic "Me Tarzan" and "You Jane" idea and was given visual imagery with a fake tiger-skin fur waistcoat I bought in Birmingham. I saw it in a boutique and just knew it was ideal for my flamboyant image. I also had a fake leopardskin rug I had inherited and used this in some promotional photos.
I was in Scientology at that time and had realised that being an entertainer was just as valuable a service as an artist as being a singer-songwriter following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan or as a songwriter of great rock songs like those composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. To write a successful Pop song was well worthwhile. I decided I would be happy if I could make it to the big time as a Pop singer and as an entertainer.
Meltdown the Album
Jungle Love in Chapter Bar
Bard of Ely and Flowers of the City
Meltdown the Album
I started playing Jungle Love around Cardiff venues including the Chapter Arts Centre Bar where at that time a club known as The Meltdown was held weekly and featured all sorts of local acts.
I recorded Jungle Love at the then-functioning Chariot Studios with the help of Ian Wallace as producer and Martin Espley on drums. My finished recording was chosen to be amongst the songs included on a 12" vinyl LP by Various Artists and entitled Meltdown The Album. It was released on Chariot Records. I was billed as Steve Andrews because this was several years before I acquired the Bard of Ely title, which was given to me by Big Issue Cymru magazine.
I played Jungle Love at a couple of festivals around that time too. I was a performer at the Newport Festival and also at Cardiff's one-day Charles Street Festival.
I had a full-page interview feature in the South Wales Echo too, and my song Jungle Love was complimented by Paul Davies in Q magazine when he called it "swamp rock" and said it was "one of the highlights of the album." Naturally I was very excited by this.
Jungle Love had quickly become my best-known song. The future for my success as a singer-songwriter and Pop star was looking optimistic.
I started a band that was known as Flowers of the City, after a line from and paying tribute to a Bob Dylan song entitled To Ramona. The band consisted of me on semi-acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Mike Slee on lead guitar, Adrian Roper on bass, Howlin´ Howard on harmonica and rhythm guitar and Martin Espley on drums. All of the other guys in the band also contributed backing vocals here and there on songs.
By then I had been dubbed "The Legendary Steve Andrews" or simply "The Legend." My good friend Lynda Nash who used to come along to my gigs made a backdrop with a picture of me and The Legend in big letters on it.
We often used to play at Chapter Bar and I still have some photos from that time that I have included here. One of them shows Craig Hemburrow, who used to be lead singer for another local band called The City Arabs, dancing with Sioned Williams, who as it happens, did the artwork for my Welsh Wizard release many years later.
I recorded another version of Jungle Love backed by Flowers of the City. The song is intentionally quirky and fun.
Jungle Love by Bard of Ely
Is Jungle Love Pop or Rock?
Do you think Jungle Love is a Pop or Rock song?
Woody Woodmansey and the Marquee Café in London
When I was part of Scientology I used to study at times as a student at Celebrity Centre London and as a performer I was invited to play at events they were holding. One of these I will always remember was held at the Marquee Café in Soho and one of the other musicians there was Woody Woodmansey of the legendary Spiders From Mars band who had backed David Bowie.
Imagine my excitement to have had Woody as a drummer in a little band we put together for the night, and afterwards he told me that he thought Jungle Love had the makings of a hit song. It was a very important moment in my career as a singer-songwriter and gave me a lot more confidence in my song and my ability as a performer.
Jungle Love remastered
My song Jungle Love has just been remastered by my good friend Alan Mansfield and so yet another version now exists and this is probably the best yet in the way of sound quality. I have included a new video with it on.
Jungle Love.(remastered) mp4 by Bard of Ely
Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton, Cardiff
© 2012 Steve Andrews