Legends of Reggae UK Tour @ The Tramshed, Cardiff

“De baba men no like de dreadlocks man/De dreadlocks man no like de baba men, no?”

IF you’re going to name your tour Legends of Reggae it’s only fair they should perform in venues suitable for the billing.

Max Romeo

Cardiff’s best small venues have played host to some legendary reggae figures, especially in recent years, but a line up featuring Max Romeo, Eek A Mouse and Big Youth (not to mention the Mighty Diamonds whose appearance was cancelled at the last-minute) deserves a bigger stage. Continue reading

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King Dem (Ty, Blak Twang & Rodney P) @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

“On road doing shows/ And we picking up nice cheques”

“Fuckin’ hell, Cardiff’s alright you know,” states Rodney P as he enters the stage, the third and final member of this trinity of UK Hip Hop royalty.

Rodney P

The King Dem tour has brought together the supreme lyricist Ty, the energetic Tony Rotton aka Blak Twang, and the original UK Hip Hop Don Dada, the Riddim Killa, Rodney P. Continue reading

Romain Virgo @ Tramshed, Cardiff

“And just like a knight in shining armour/I used my charm just to calm her”

ROMAIN VIRGO made his name as the winner of Jamaica’s Digicel Rising Stars talent contest in 2007 and more than 10 years on is touring the UK to promote his Lovesick album.

The route from talent show winner to stardom is more established on his home island than in European pop music but Virgo is a natural inheritor of the tradition of smooth as silk, male reggae singers. An impressive catalogue of singles have establish a reputation as a slick but considerate heart-throb. As his hour and a half on stage, that includes at least 25 songs, demonstrates – again in the tradition of Jamaican singers – it’s also a catalogue deeper than three LPs, of which Lovesick is the latest. Continue reading

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

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