Jay Jay Pistolet: The Ghost Of Vaccines Past

You may or may not have heard of The Vaccines. I am not a fan of them and you would never see me in one of the crowds of screaming teenagers. They annoy me, they gained success a few months after forming, mainly because of NME and the rest of the musical press decided they were cool, yet other brilliant bands may never get the same coverage even after years of playing. There is a reason I have brought this up; Justin, the lead singer, used to have a solo project. He used the name ‘Jay Jay Pistolet’ and toured with people like Laura Marling, as well as being a part-time member of Mumford & Sons. He stopped a few years ago to form The Vaccines, and stopped writing some of the most amazing songs to have graced my ears.

I found out about Jay Jay Pistolet far too late. I only heard his voice on a Mojo CD about the Communuim record label earlier this year, about two years after he stopped. He was a folk singer-songwriter and he wrote lyrics of love, loss and little else. My favourite song is probably ‘Holly’: a saddening story that leaves you slightly depressed and with an aching heart. I struggle to comprehend how such a great lyricist managed to write a song called ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ in his next band.

I have spent a good deal of time searching for Jay Jay Pistolet songs; I have bought all the available EPs and regularly scan eBay for a CD of unreleased tracks that he sent to fans when he finished the project. The songs I have got have been played more times than a lot of my music library combined. At the moment I find myself thinking: ‘All I want for Christmas is the reincarnation of Jay Jay Pistolet’. If Jesus came back to life then it can’t be too hard.


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