BRITISH reggae band the Rasites have promised to ‘bang up’ Blaenau Ffestiniog when they play the town’s Cellb venue tonight.
The London based group are bringing the roots reggae message to North Wales as part of their tour with original Jamaican roots vocal group, Culture – now fronted by Kenyatta Hill, the son of late lead vocalist Joseph Hill. The Saturday, August 23 show gets underway from 7.30pm.
Formed by four childhood friends the Rasites are soon to release their as yet untitled third studio album, having originally made their mark on the reggae scene with a string of single releases before recording 2001’s studio album Urban Regeneration.
Over the past seven years Rasites have also toured with several influential groups from Jamaica’s 1970s roots scene, including the Mighty Diamonds and the Abyssinians and of course, Culture who they have shared the stage with on their ongoing UK tour.
“That’s a special link ya’know. We the Rasites, ya’know we like to play with legends of reggae. We’re a band ya’know for our own self, we don’t classify ourselves as a backing band,” explained bass guitarist and co-lead vocalist Jahmel ‘Talliss’ Ellison just minutes after their gig with Culture at The Globe in Roath, Cardiff on Friday, August 22.
“Culture, especially ya’know. We knew Joseph Hill from before he passed away. Joseph Hill was one that actually encouraged I and I as Rasites. Our version of Picture on the Wall was one of his favourite songs as well. He would always come to us and big us up for the song as well.
“When this movement come together it’s right, like a family thing ya’know.”
At the Globe the Rasites played their own 40 minute set of songs from their own LPs and EPs, including new songs Reason Time and latest single Drum and Bass Line, before backing Culture and Kenyatta Hill for more than an hour.
Backstage Talliss insisted the Cardiff gig was the best of the current tour but promises more for Gwynedd reggae fans this evening.
“We are doing the final week right now, we’ve been on tour for the last month travelling throughout the UK, spreading the vibes, been a lovely vibes.
“The last show is always the best show, so Cardiff is best show so far.
“Blaenau, we a go down there a go bang it up same way.
“Y’ah have to love this ting ya’know, it’s not a job it’s a lifestyle and the love will go with it ya’know. We prefer ta always be on the stage and when ya get to go to different places you meet different people, you get a different reaction. No show is ever the same, you get some shows the people are more relaxed, some where people are more excited, some where people are just like spiritually in tuned to the vibes, so ya’know we hav’ ta give thanks for everything, everything is a new experience.”
Make sure you follow the NewsatTwm blog for a full interview with Rasites and a review of their Cardiff gig