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Mickey Jupp: Not a wasted word nor a pointless chord from a total original

Great English rock’n’roller Mickey Jupp goes cross-country on Up Snakes, Down Ladders

Up Snakes, Down Ladders cover art
(Image: © Conquest Music)

Typecasting Mickey Jupp as Southend’s answer to Chuck Berry don’t get you a ride on Rage. Back in the 70s, even Lee Brilleaux from Dr Feelgood kneeled before him. Jupp offloaded the classic Legend albums, the famous 'Flaming Red Boot' produced by Tony Visconti demanding attention. 

Ignored, Jupp went into semi-retirement in the Lake District. 

He’s been coaxed out by these home recordings, on which Lee Dorsey and Tom T Hall influences rub alongside Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon ’n’ Willie and such. Bar-room adultery (Like You Don’t Love Him) and unrequited love songs (Loving The Wrong Girl) are all over the piece, but The Ballad of Tutford Darnell (anag: Dartford Tunnel) is the charm. 

The atypical Pilot, recorded circa 1972, is like Joan Armatrading with a 99 and double flake. Not a wasted word nor a pointless chord. Mickey Jupp is a total original. 

Max Bell worked for the NME during the golden 70s era before running up and down London’s Fleet Street for The Times and all the other hot-metal dailies. A long stint at the Standard and mags like The Face and GQ kept him honest. Later, Record Collector and Classic Rock called.