Mykal Rose @ The Globe, Cardiff

“Guess who’s coming to dinner, Natty Dreadlock”

MYKAL ROSE created history with his former Black Uhuru band mates when, in 1984, they won reggae’s first Grammy award for the album Anthem.

The legacy is the singer is often referred to with ‘Grammy’ inserted as a middle name and his current UK tour is billed as Sounds of Black Uhuru 1977-1985. Continue reading

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Record of the year: The Story of O.J. – Jay-Z

“O.J like ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J’…okay”

THE seeds of the record of the year 2017 can be found in the seven months leading up to last January.


In May 2016 US cable sports channel ESPN released its five-part documentary O.J: Made in America. That August American football player Colin Kaepernick, while a member of the San Francisco 49ers – OJ’s hometown team where he brought his famed playing career to an end – remained seated on the bench as his teammates stood for the US national anthem ahead of a pre-season game. Continue reading

The Skatalites @ The Globe, Cardiff

AS the original house band of the legendary Jamaican recording studio, record label and soundsystem, Studio One, The Skatalites have long since ensured their legacy.

The ‘grandfathers of reggae music’ – or perhaps as they are best known – the creators of ska, The Skatalites are a band that lives on through their music. Drum beats, bass licks and all powerful horns that signalled the birth of the mighty Jamaican recording industry and morphed into rocksteady and reggae. Continue reading

Bernie Sanders @ Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye

“Critics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin’/Motherfucker, if you did, then Killer Mike’d be platinum”

CAN politicians win from the left? Bernie Sanders tried but isn’t the president of the United States and in the UK, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn isn’t prime minister – at least not yet.

Bernie Sanders at the Hay Festival (Peter Williams)

But rather than ask can candidates who shun the safety of the centrist play book win perhaps it’s time to ask what keeps them from winning – or how do they set about winning? Continue reading

Final thoughts: Champions League, Cardiff 2017

“I never said I didn’t like the Champions League.”

CARDIFF, Wales; August 2014: Fans of Real Madrid and Spanish rivals Sevilla bring the colour and noise of Spain’s La Liga to the Welsh capital.

Along with thousands of Spanish football fans, in the city for the revamped UEFA Super Cup, are media from across the world and Cardiff feels as if it is the centre of attention. Continue reading

Cardiff 2017: Champions League final despair

“Somebody said: ‘Football’s a matter of life and death to you. I said, ‘Listen it’s more important than that’.”

WORLD class sport has never really understood irony – which perhaps explains why people have never really known whether to take revered Liverpool manager Bill Shankly’s comments on football as a matter of life and death seriously.

Of course football, or any other game, isn’t more important than life or death and Shankly was talking, with regret, at how he’d prioritised his career, his passion, over his family when recalling a quip that had become folklore. Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn @ Whitchurch Common, Cardiff

“Don’t tell me that you understand until you hear the man”

GROWING up in Cardiff in the 1990s I can remember newspaper columnists and correspondents to the letters pages often referring to Winston Churchill having addressed an election rally of around 50,000 people at Ninian Park in 1950.

Jeremy Corbyn poses for a selfie with a supporter. Photo John Morgan

The anecdote would usually be brought out as an example of how politics once captivated the public and campaigning was about more than stage-managed private photo opportunities and tightly controlled interviews. Continue reading