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
“It’s all about the 45/Something about the feel and the vibe“
“MACKA B is always about social commentary,” states the veteran British reggae DJ as he launches into ‘Sex Machine’ and gets the crowd to chant its chorus, “She’s more than a sex machine/The woman is a human being”.
It’s just one more song from a vault of danceheall favourites that typify the Wolverhampton native’s approach, honed over more than 30 years as a solo recording artist, of delivering positive messages to vibrant reggae rhythms. Continue reading
THIS autumn saw two of the most influential figures of modern soul and rnb performing in South Wales.
Omar at the Globe in Cardiff
Teddy Riley and his reformed vocal group Blackstreet toured Europe with Keith Sweat, stopping in Newport in October, while British soul singer Omar’s latest UK tour included a Cardiff gig at the end of September. Continue reading
It is nearly 25 years since Omar’s classic ‘There’s Nothing Like This’ hit the UK top 20 and arguably the song has become better known than the singer.
But if Omar had achieved celebrity status to match the esteem he is held in by other musicians perhaps he wouldn’t be playing a gig in a small Cardiff venue. This Friday, September 25 Omar, whose last album was 2013’s ‘The Man’, plays The Globe in Roath’s Albany Road where no more than 350 people will get to see one of contemporary soul’s greatest artists up close. Continue reading
“If you holding up the wall, then you missing the point”
THE force of energy that is Pharoahe Monch steps across the Globe stage to loud cheers with his DJ and small band having already built the sense of anticipation for the enigmatic Queens MC.
On a sweaty, humid July 1 night in the Welsh capital Monch will soon discard his ceremonial, military style jacket as he get straight into his no compromising set. Continue reading
“I can see clearly now the rain is gone…gone are the dark clouds that had me blind it’s gonna be a bright, sunshiny day”
I DOUBT Johnny Nash was only thinking about the weather when he wrote the above, but counting the days down to spring they, and the time I saw Jimmy Cliff sing them live during a miserable summer in Cardiff, come to mind.
As the dark clouds of January and February burn away my spring optimism is the promise of live music, getting underway right on cue this Sunday, March 1 with a live show from Maxi Priest on the first day of the season which is also Dydd Gwyl Dewi (Saint David’s Day). Continue reading
“Two years ago, a friend of mine asked me to say some MC rhymes…”
NOT really, but a few months ago a friend asked if I planned to see an MC, Sage Francis at his Cardiff show.
Sage Francis peforms Jah Didn’t Kill Johnny
So I said ‘not sure’ as Francis wasn’t a rapper I’d checked for but come last Sunday night, (October 19) a hip hop gig at a local venue was too good to turn down. Continue reading