Jig a Jig

Album: Jig-a-Jig (1971)
Charted: 7

Songfacts®:

  • East of Eden were a progressive band formed in Brighton in 1968 by violinist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Arbus. Moving to London in 1968, East of Eden signed with Decca's underground label Deram, and found a college audience. This fiddle-driven Celtic number was their only chart entry and the band split in 1978 with no original members left.
  • This instrumental was completely untypical of East Eden's usual musical style, which is progressive rock with plenty of hard rock guitar and band co-founder Dave Arbus's wild violin work. It was Arbus who performed the song's catchy reel and he recalled to Mojo magazine December 2010 how the tune originated: "At the end of a show one night I launched into some jigs and the band followed me. It was quite spontaneous, the audience went wild. It became our finale. We probably invented Celtic rock by accident."
  • The song drew a new audience for the band. "A lot of people came to shows and didn't realize what kind of audience we were," recalled Arbus to Mojo. "We weren't clear who our audience were any longer. We were serious about what we wanted to do, but the record company wanted a follow-up. We were at a loss what to do. We were an album group, I think it destroyed us."
  • Arbus is probably best remembered today for his tour-de-force violin solo on The Who's "Baba O'Riley."

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