Gravesend, Kent





A short lived Punk band from Gravesend in Kent who formed mid '77 and slogged away at all the local venues around Gravesend & the Medway area. Their biggest break came when they played the famous 'Roxy Club' with 'Blood Sports' (pre 'Killing Joke') on Tuesday 28th February 1978.


Above is the original ľ Master Tape from the Medway Studio from 1977

The band did actually venture into their local recording studio which was sittuated in the Medway area. Sadly the band were totally out of their heads and only manged to lay down six tracks before the studio engineer stopped a wobbly and gave up on them. However, the band did walk away with the reel to reel master to the actual recordings that included their stage favourites of 'ORAL SEX WITH A CATAPILLER' & 'I DANCED ALL NIGHT WITH A HAMPSTER UNTILL I TROD ON IT'.

As Punk started changing, the band found it more and more difficult to book gigs under their name of 'Jerry Jamrag & the Afterbirths' so they changed their name to "The Big Jobs" in late '78.

This name change gave the band new life but sadly it was short lived as 'Dereck' & 'Doug' were arrested in early '79 and went on a short break at her Majesty pleasure. As the band were now finished, 'Colin' persued a solo career and went under the name of 'King Ragapan' but this was only a short lived project before he up sticks and moved to Kibbutz.







Jerry Jamrag & the Afterbirths were formed Jan 77 after hearing New Rose on the John Peel show. Prior to this Colin & Dereck had been playing guitar and singing in the bedroom of Del's mums house, learning, T-Rex, Bowie & Velvet Underground songs. As soon as you heard New Rose you knew that is what you had been waiting for. They recruited school friend Doug on drums & drinking partner Andy on bass, and Jerry Jamrag was born.

The 1st gig was at the Gravesend Boat pub which resulted in Doug being banned for breaking a pool cue in 1/2 to use as drum sticks and the regulars throwing the contents of their beer glasses over us. It was lucky we did not get electrocuted! The landlord who we knew soon relented and we played there 3 or 4 times. Local gigs were hard to get due to the fear of punk that the press had put in people.

After meeting a member of Bloodsport at college we got a few gigs with them at Blazes night club just before Rochester Bridge, Kent, along with Menace who played one night. The club had cashed in by having a punk night once a week. These gigs with Bloodsport resulted in us playing the Roxy Club in Covent Garden with them in Feb 78, using their amps & drums. We plugged in and played 4 songs, 'Oh Shit', 'Anthem for the Future', 'Danced All Night with a Hamster' and 'Amazing 'Grace' to an audience of about 20 (Tuesdays was not the best attended night at the Roxy). Our performance was ruined once again by alcohol.

The Roxy was a great club as was the Vortex. In them days you could just turn up and see great bands. One night we flipped a coin between Slits at Chilslehurst caves or Spizz 77, Adam Ant & Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Vortex. The Vortex won.

The band continued to play locally at pubs in Gravesend, the Terminus, the Red Lion and the best, the Hit & Miss, which was a country and western place. The local crowed hated us but by now we had built up a reasonable following which gave these pubs good beer sales so they were happy to have us.

We now had a set of about 20 songs and 8 of them were recorded in a small studio in Rochester, Kent in mid 78, with the studio engineer not having a clue what to do with us.

We now had a manager, Pete Ripley.  On his advice we changed the name of the band to the Big Jobs because I think he was embarrassed saying Jerry Jamrag on the phone!

The band split from its original line up in mid 79, no big reason, just fed up with each other along with transport and equipment problems. After 6 months on a Kibbutz in Israel Colin continued the Big Jobs with Paul Joyce on bass and Martin Moore on vocals. We never really had a regular drummer, people just used to get up from the audience, proper drummers, but I just canít remember there names. A large following was built up locally and many gigs were played, including the Woodville Halls Gravesend supporting a heavy metal groups, some one like Samson I think. The promoter had got us in to play to improve ticket sales, one of Samson's entourage played drums with us that night. He was a good drummer, but his hair was so long and we played so fast it was tangled in his drum sticks. We also played the Red Lion many times, once with Anthrax, who at the time were on the Crass label so had all their sound engineers present, but gave up on us when we played and just pushed all the sliders up full. 

Our live gigs were always manic, ramshackle, drunken affairs and that's what we wanted. No gaps between songs and full volume all the way. In the end Martin and Colin took a break and travelled around the Greek Islands and on their return the band never really got going again. By 1982 it was the end.

Colin Manwaring
June 2017


Special thanks to Colin Manwaring




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