Wednesday 8 September 2010


Julian Bahula found himself in London in the early seventies as part of the South African afro-rock group (African) Hawk. As one of the first "mixed race" rock bands Hawk had drawn more than enough attention to themselves back in South Africa and an attempt to break into London seemed like a sensible and logical step. A full story of what transpired is contained in the sleevenotes for the reissue of the 1973 album by Retrofresh here. There is not much happiness on the faces of Hawk in the promo shot for the UK's Melody Maker in 1973 above.

Hawk fell apart but Julian Bahula began working with a number of African and European musicians eventually as the leader of the group Jabula (which means Happiness). The album we share with you today is the debut from 1975 of the group and it also features Busi Mhlongo on vocals. A full discography is available at Wall of Sound. In the late seventies and through the eighties Julian became a tireless promoter of African music in London at venues such as the 100 Club. Check his personal web-site here.

Jabula- Jabula (1975, Virgin)
1. Jabula Happiness
2. Baile – They Are Gone
3. Listen To Me Crying
4. Naledi
5. Badishi – Herdboys
6. Thandi
7. Siakala – We Are Sad
8. Our Fathers
9. Let Us Be Free

Jabula outside the 100 Club in Oxford St, London circa 1975
Musicians on the album include:
Vicky Busiswe Mhlongo (vocals)
Maureen Koto Lembede (backing vocals)
Dudu Pukwana (sax)
Eddie Quansah (trumpet)
Geroge Larnyoh (sax & flute)
Peter Van Der Puije (baritone sax)
Ken Eley (sax)
Jean Alain Roussel (keyboards)
Madumetja Ranku (guitar & percussion)
Mogotsi Mothle (bass)
Graham Morgan (drums & percussion)
Sebothane Bahula (african drums & percussion)
Willy Cheetham (congas & percussion)



  1. Again, thanks for sharing the music of Jabula more widely. They (and Julian Bahula) deserve to be better known, I think.

  2. THANKS SO MUCH !!!!! And the vynil seems to be in an amazing condition, what a great gift.

  3. Thanks for sharing. In the past i had this record but was stollen.
    For years i search it on the net to find a possible CD release.

    Thanks again from Portugal.

  4. This album and Thunder Into Our Hearts has just been released by Red Cherry as a double CD.

    Cheers John

  5. Hi
    I have recently spent many happy hours wandering around Electric Jive but am frustrated by the number of dead links to downloads. For example, the links for Jabula- Jabula (1975, Virgin) seem to lead nowhere.
    Can a better link be provided?
    I am
    I am thoroughly enjoying the posts of you and your colleagues. Keep it up!

  6. upload the album again, please, pleaaase D:


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