Thursday, October 18, 2018

New UB40 Album "For the Many" To Be Released in Celebration of their 40th Anniversary (plus a Tour of the USA in 2019)!

If you've been a long-standing UB40 fan, you're painfully aware that the band has split into two factions--UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue, and Astro, and UB40 (with Robin Campbell, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers, and Duncan Campbell). I've seen both permutations live and have to admit to preferring the version with Robin, Duncan, et al, as they performed a terrific mix of their own hit material (often sharply political and socialist in nature) in addition to some of their Labour of Love-type covers (read our review of their 2010 show at the now closed B.B. King's in Times Square), while UB40 with Ali et al pretty much stuck to the (admittedly very popular) covers (read our review of their 2015 show at the now closed Webster Hall).

In celebration of UB40's 40th anniversary, the Robin/Duncan iteration of the band has recorded an album of all new material titled For the Many (a nod to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party slogan), which will be accompanied by a dub version, and a third version featuring guest collaborators. The album proper and deluxe edition with the dub album can be pre-ordered via their Pledge campaign--with a release set for February 2019. (If you can believe it, the last time UB40 released a non-covers album was in 2008, with TwentyFourSeven, which included some truly great songs, including "Dance Until the Morning Light," "Middle of the Night," and "Oh America"). They also will be touring the UK and USA in 2019.

UB40 featuring Ali, Mickey, and Astro have recently released another album of covers, A Real Labour of Love.

+ + + +

For more on UB40, check out The Duff Guide to Ska appreciation of Present Arms that we posted a few years ago.

+ + + +

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Duff Review: "Joe Strummer 001"!

Ignition Records
3xLPs and 1x12" single /2xCD
2018

(Review by Steve Shafer)

The story goes that after Joe Strummer's death (in 2002 at age 50 from a heart attack), a huge cache of his writings and recordings was discovered in a barn in his backyard, which ultimately yielded the 20,000 items that now comprise the Joe Strummer Archive (apparently he was quite the pack rat-documentarian). The new compilation Joe Strummer 001 is the first batch of freshly buffed material to emerge from the archive, much of it somewhat obscure/hard-to-find (see LP #1) or never released (LP #3 and the 12" single) and will be eagerly consumed by Clash and Strummer fans. But LP #2--containing readily available recordings of Strummer with The Mescaleros, Jimmy Cliff, and Johnny Cash (plus his contribution to Chef Aid: The South Park Album, the Buddy Holly pastiche "It's a Rockin' World")--is a bit at odds with rest of this set, as its seems to be more about re-shaping/re-claiming Strummer's post-Clash legacy than yielding unheard musical gems or rarities. (For instance, they could have swapped out LP #2 out for a cleaned up version of some/all of The Clash Mark II's Out of Control demos (AKA the 1983 Lucky 8 demos) or their legendary live benefit performance for striking coal miners at The Academy in Brixton on December 6, 1984, since that excellent, unheralded band was really more of Joe Strummer solo enterprise anyway. For proof of their greatness before manager Bernie Rhodes' machinations mucked it all up, read Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki's "We Are The Clash" and listen to Crooked Beat Records' Recutting the Crap Volumes I and II. Also anyone looking for a fantastic comp of Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' music should pick up their Live at Acton Town Hall, which we reviewed a few years ago).

Strummer's so-called "wilderness years"--between the disintegration of The Clash Mark II in 1986 and his finally regaining solid footing again with The Mescaleros in the late 1990s--were filled with a series of short-lived groups and one-off collaborations (and the not-so-great solo album Earthquake Weather); acting in and recordings cuts for art house and Hollywood film soundtracks; a drawn-out legal dispute with Sony; subbing for Shane McGowan in The Pogues; and DJing on the BBC World Service. (In Chris Salewicz's "Redemption Song: The Ballad Of Joe Strummer," he posits that during this period Strummer was clinically depressed--and episodes about the demise of The Clash Mark II in "We Are The Clash" support this assertion.)

The aforementioned unreleased/hard-to-find tracks on LPs #1, #2, and the 12" single have precious little reggae (disappointing, really--and the cover of The Tennors' "Ride Your Donkey" from Earthquake Weather is surprisingly meh) and there's a bit too much Americana for my taste, but the punk, rock, and worldbeat songs are pretty terrific. If you followed Strummer in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, you've likely encountered some of this lesser-known material (on LP #1), like "Love Kills" from the "Sid and Nancy" soundtrack, "Trash City" from the "Permanent Record" OST, and "Generations" from the A Punk Look at Human Rights comp (with punk supergroup Electric Dog House, made up of members of The Ruts DC and The Damned). But I've never heard the prime cuts "Afro-Cuban Be-Bop" with The Astro-Physicians (AKA The Pogues, which give this left-field Latin-y/Irish mash-up its Celtic flavor) from the "I Hired A Contract Killer" indie film soundtrack and the rabble-rousing cover of the anti-fascist Spanish Civil War song "15th Brigade" with The Latino Rockabilly War, the b-side to the "Island Hopping" Earthquake Weather single. Oddly, "Sandpaper Blues" with Radar is replicated almost note-for-note on The Mescalero' debut Rock Art and the X-Ray Style (is it the same recording?).

Of LP #2's previously unreleased songs, only "When Pigs Fly" (which nicks a bit of The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love") and "Rose of Erin" (both from the indie film soundtrack "When Pigs Fly"), the lounge-y "The Cool Impossible" (think "Broadway"), the Clash Mark II demo of "Pouring Rain" (ragged and impassioned!), and the absolutely stellar rocker "London's Burning" (which was released as a 7" vinyl single that we reviewed recently) are essential additions to the Strummer canon. It's definitely interesting to hear the reggae-ish "Czechoslovak Song/Where is England" demo, though the version from the Lucky 8 sessions--retitled as "This is England"--has much more kick to it (and it should be noted that the UK 12" of this last great Clash single includes two other legitimately good Clash Mark II tracks, "Do It Now" and "Sex Mad Roar"). And then there are other songs from the vault that take up space that could have been devoted to more vital material which was left on the shelves--like the cleaned-up, zydeco-y second take on "Pouring Rain" and the "Sid and Nancy" outtakes (with Mick Jones on guitar) "Crying on 23rd" (a straight-up blues track) and "Bullets" (a country-western cut with Pearl Harbor--AKA Pearl E. Gates--on vocals who, at one point, was spouse to Paul Simonon).

Lastly, the 12" (one-sided) single offers an unreleased Strummer/Jones Big Audio Dynamite composition "U.S. North" (for the indie film "Candy Mountain") that must have been recorded around the time of BAD's No. 10, Upping Street (which Strummer co-produced with Jones; they co-wrote "Ticket" on that album, too). It's a decent song (though far too long at 10+ minutes) and may be the only instance where Strummer sang and played guitar on a BAD recording.

If you're unfamiliar with Joe Strummer's post-Combat Rock years, this compilation does a pretty spectacular job of filling in the blanks. But it may leave the more zealous Strummer/Clash fans less satisfied and hoping that subsequent releases from Strummer's recorded archive will reveal even greater finds.

+ + + +


Thursday, October 11, 2018

New Specials Album Update via Paul Willo

Specials biographer/insider Paul "Willo" Williams posted an intriguing update regarding The Specials' (Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, and Sir Horace Panter) new album on his FB page:
The new album is at the final mix mastering stage.
A fabulous collection of politics, life stories and personal tales.
Imagine where the band should have gone after More Specials.
This is The Specials with a lifetime of life experience behind them.
Album will be out Feb 1st 2019 as they celebrate their 40th Anniversary.
Are shows planned? YES.
Hold onto your hats...
More news end of month.
To be honest, I put a good amount of stock in Willo's opinion--I don't think this is mere hype.

We'll pass along any bits of news as we find them (nothing's on The Specials' website yet)!

+ + + +

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Duff Review: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros "London Is Burning"

Ignition Records
Limited edition 7" vinyl picture sleeve single
2018

(Review by Steve Shafer)

In advance of Joe Strummer 001, the new 32-track collection of his somewhat rare and unreleased (12 of them!) pre- and post-Clash (Mark 1) music, comes the new single "London Is Burning"--a truly fantastic, (punk) rocking alternate version (with an incredible Midnight Oil-sounding bass line) of the subdued and ballad-y "Burnin' Streets" that appeared on his posthumous 2003 album with The Mescaleros, Streetcore

Written a quarter of a century on and with echoes of The Clash's 1977 track "London's Burning"--about being bored, frustrated, and aimless living in the tower blocks, but kind of excited by all the possibilities that presents, too--"London Is Burning" has more existential concerns, like how to get by on streets that have gotten meaner and bleaker: "It takes every day to be surviving in the city/Ready to face a dawn with no pity" and "There's too many guns in this damn town/At the supermarket/You gotta duck down/Baby flack jackets on the merry-go-round..." Can't just be lost in the market any more. (The mind reels at what multiculturalist Strummer would be singing about these days.)

There's also this great turn of a phrase in the break: "There's a love triangle on a two-way street"; and this verse filled with still relevant uncertainty and disorientation: "A century that's hardly on its feet/The late news breaks early/Does the sun rise from the West or from the East?"

Here's hoping there are other revelations like this in Joe Strummer 001.

+ + + +

Note: This 45 is one of the extra goodies offered with the deluxe version of this compilation, but copies of this single are available from joestrummer.com.

+ + + +

Further reading: The Duff Guide to Ska review of Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' "Live at Acton Town Hall." ("London Is Burning" was was originally titled "Fire Fighting Street" and written for the Fire Brigade Union benefit show at Acton Town Hall on November 15, 2002.)

+ + + +

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Fall 2018 Ska Calendar #9

Scratch
Saturday, September 22, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

David Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7 - Record release show!

Hank's Saloon
46 Third Avenue (corner of Atlantic)
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Sunday, September 23, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Israel Vibration and The Roots Radics Band

Sony Hall
235 West 46th Street, New York, New York
$26.50

+ + + +

Saturday, October 13, 2018 @ 10:00 pm

Hub City Stompers, 45 Adaptors, Hekla

New Old Rock Deli/Blarney Stone
11 Trinity Place
New York, NY
$10 in advance/$15 day of show
21+

+ + + +

Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Vic Ruggiero (of The Slackers), DJ Agent Jay, The Hempsteadys

The Kingsland
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10

+ + + +

Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Big D and the Kids Table, BIGWIG, The Creepshow, Sgt. Scagnetti

Brooklyn Bazaar
150 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Tix: Advance - $15 / Day of show - $17
16+

+ + + +

Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Lee "Scratch" Perry and Subatomic Sound System: 45th Anniversary Performance of "Blackboard Jungle Dub," Top Shotta Band

Elsewhere
599 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$25/16+

+ + + +

Thursday, November 8, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Stacked Like Pancakes, Beat Brigade

The Kingsland
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10 in advance/$13 day of show
16+

+ + + +

Saturday, November 17, 2018 @ 9:30 pm

The Scofflaws, The Big Takeover

Diviera Drive
131 Berry Street
Brooklyn, NY
$10

+ + + +

Saturday, November 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Mustard Plug

Bowery Electric
327 Bowery
New York, NY
Tix: Advance - $14/Day of show - $16
21+

+ + + +

Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Streetlight Manifesto, Mephiskapheles

Playstation Theater
1515 Broadway (at West 44th Street)
New York, NY
$29.50/16+

+ + + +

If you don't see a NYC ska show listed here, send us all of the details to duffguidetoska@gmail.com!

+ + + +

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Duff Review: Lee "Scratch" Perry "The Black Album"

Upsetter Records
CD/Double LP
2018

(Review by Steve Shafer)

On The Black Album, Lee "Scratch" Perry collaborates again with co-producer Daniel Boyle (who also recently worked with Max Romeo on his fantastic Horror Zone in Boyle's Black Ark-modeled Rolling Lion studio), since their initial foray--2014's Back on the Controls--garnered a Grammy nomination and great notices. As with that release, Boyle's and Perry's mission on The Black Album is to capture the sound and spirit of Perry's spectacular 1970's analog Black Ark productions (Upsetter keyboardist Robbie Lyn plays on many cuts here), which were exceptionally warm, organic, and had a vibrant immediacy, and featured otherworldly percussive and aural effects resulting from Perry's masterful, spur-of-moment inventive, and wildly unorthodox approach to music and studio production. And it will come as no surprise that they've accomplished all this again here on a terrific new set of roots reggae cuts and their excellent track-for-track dub versions.

According to the liner notes, during the recording of this album Perry referred to the sound as "black," which then needed "space, light, and darkness" to help give it form and definition--all of which implies that there's a necessary ying and yang type of harmony/balance for everything in creation (including the diversity of people). This point is perhaps best illustrated on the wonderful and most perfectly realized track on the album, "Your Shadow Is Black" (and accompanying dub!). It's a bright, mid-tempo reggae cut with flute, melodica, harmonizing back-up singers, and Perry singing/saying stream-of-consciousness lyrics (he even makes kissing sounds at an appropriate spot): "Whirlwind and fire/Dark shadow in the room/Love your shadow/Your shadow is black/Your shadow is mud/Your shadow is God..." The Old Testament reference to Sodom and Gomorrow (Gomorrah) and mention of an ominous dark shadow on the moon suggests that evil is amongst us always (as a contrast with the good and righteous), but also infers that there will be divine punishment for wicked doers (the Lot reference in "Your Shadow Is Black" made me look up Perry's work on The Congos' magnificent "Sodom and Gomorrow" to compare their productions and they're incredibly similar in sound and vision!).

The great, eerie album opener "Mr. Brown In Town" makes direct lyrical reference to the Glen Adams-penned Bob Marley and the Wailers song "Mr. Brown" (which versioned Jackie Mittoo's "Pennie Wallie" and was based on a rumor about a ghost "upsetting" everyone by riding around Kingston in a three-wheeled coffin with three crows riding on top asking for a Mr. Brown; Perry also sang about "Mr. Brown" on his 1998  "Dr. Lee PhD" collaboration with The Beastie Boys). Essentially, "Mr. Brown In Town" declares that Perry is back "on the street again," "I'm still alive/refuse to die," and asserts that rebels/devils in the poor, violent Back-o-Wall slum don't fear Mr. Brown (and at one point--message to the Resistance--when exhorting Mr. Brown the clown to get out of town, he inserts "Trump!" instead of Brown).

Other standout tracks include the (expected and) knowingly boastful/self-aggrandizing "Trendsetter" ("Lee Scratch Perry/Upsetting the universe") and "Captain Perry" ("...of the mothership/Captain Perry/Don't miss a trick")--and perhaps Scratch isn't a big fan of some forms of reggae (see: "Killing Dancehall Softly"). Perry mounts a more-than-credible defense of being a vegetarian on "Dead Meat": "666/Me no eat meat...I'm so crazy because I don't eat dead flesh...No cannibals/You gotta to believe in animals." (Just the other day, I saw a video of Perry singing to cows in a field...) I'm not completely sure of the message being conveyed on the amazingly upbeat "Solid State Communication" (Perry as the instrument of God's word?): "Genesis/Revelation/I'm the Bible/I'm black Jesus...I am the God of Creation/I am the Lord of the Lords/Solid as a rock/King of Kings/And Lord of Lords/Conquering Lion of Judah/Solid state logic communication/The Upsetter...I'm a computer!" Of course, few but Scratch can pull off something like this so spectacularly well.

At 83--in his sixth decade of continually making and producing groundbreaking music--Scratch continues to move forward, always creating and amazing all with the results. (May everyone be so fortunate in their own lives...) Needless to say, fans of Perry and roots reggae will be more than pleased with The Black Album.

+ + + +

Monday, September 10, 2018

Duff Review: Lee "Scratch" Perry "Game of the Throne" EP

Byrd Out
12" vinyl EP
2018

(Review by Steve Shafer)

The three tracks on the Game of the Throne EP--which were licensed from Mad Professor's Ariwa label--appear to have originated from the same sessions that produced the recent Black Ark Classics in Dub album from Mad Professor and The Robotiks featuring Lee "Scratch" Perry. "This is the Upsetter" is a fairly straight-forward, but enjoyable dub version of Perry's 1968 rocksteady cut "The Upsetter"--his first release for Joe Gibbs' label after breaking with Studio One (and aimed at squarely at Clement "Coxsone" Dodd for not giving him enough credit and money for his productions for Dodd). More compelling are the dubs of the paranoid/grudge-filled "Evil Tongues" and fantastically left-field "Soul Fire" (both from Scratch's phenomenal 1978 Roast Fish Collie Weed and Corn Bread album), renamed here as "Lion's Share Dub" and "Game of the Throne." Surprisingly, "Lion's Share Dub" is devoid of spoken or sung commentary--no grievances aired here--but it's a terrific Black Ark-ish dub instrumental. The highlight of the EP is "Game of the Throne," which transforms this previously quirky (but awesome) track into one with a serious, danceable (!) groove that offers praises to Jah ("Lord of lords/King of kings/Word of words/God of gods") and invokes the sacrificial/cleansing religious aspects/connotations of fire with righteous Old Testament punishment ("God will be speedy/And burn all the greedy/And save the needy"). Perhaps not essential, but Perry obsessives will absolutely want this.

+ + + +

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Late Summer/Fall 2018 Ska Calendar #8

Friday, September 7, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

Rebellion Rises 2018 Tour Featuring Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse, and Tribal Seeds

Pier 17
89 South Street
New York, NY
$40.50

+ + + +

Sunday, September 9, 2018 @ 10:00 pm

Reggae Punky Latin in Bushwick ft. DJ Shabbakano and DJ Comardr3

Bootleg Bar
1438 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
No cover

+ + + +

Friday, September 14, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Rocks Off Booze Cruise with Goldfinger and Pilfers

Aboard the Liberty Belle
Board at Pier 36
299 South Street
New York, NY
Tix: Advance - $39.99/Day of show - $45
21+

+ + + +

Saturday, September 15, 2018 @ 9:00 pm

Dubistry

Shrine
2271 Seventh Avenue/Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (between 133rd and 134th Streets)
New York, New York
No cover!

+ + + +

Saturday, September 15, 2018 @ 10:00 pm

Move Your Mule Reunion

(Agent Jay, Li'l Jerk, Jonny Metro, Jah Point, Rata, and guest selectors will be dropping Ska, Reggae, and Rocksteady vinyl all night!)

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (between Avenues A and B)
New York, New York
No cover!

+ + + +

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 @ 9:00 pm

Black Uhuru

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25

+ + + +

Saturday, September 22, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

David Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7 - Record release show!

Hank's Saloon
46 Third Avenue (corner of Atlantic)
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Sunday, September 23, 2018 @ 8:00 pm 

Israel Vibration and The Roots Radics Band

Sony Hall
235 West 46th Street, New York, New York
$26.50

+ + + +

Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Vic Ruggiero (of The Slackers), DJ Agent Jay, The Hempsteadys

The Kingsland
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10

+ + + +

Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 7:00 pm 

Big D and the Kids Table, BIGWIG, The Creepshow, Sgt. Scagnetti

Brooklyn Bazaar
150 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Tix: Advance - $15 / Day of show - $17
16+

+ + + +

Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Lee "Scratch" Perry and Subatomic Sound System: 45th Anniversary Performance of "Blackboard Jungle Dub"

Elsewhere
599 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$25/16+

+ + + +

Saturday, November 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Mustard Plug

Bowery Electric
327 Bowery
New York, NY
Tix: Advance - $14/Day of show - $16
21+

+ + + +

If you don't see a NYC ska show listed here, send us all of the details to duffguidetoska@gmail.com!

+ + + +

Monday, September 3, 2018

Help Save the London International Ska Festival!

Sean Flowerdew, organizer of the long-running London International Ska Festival (and member of such illustrious bands as The Loafers, Pama International, and Phoenix City All-Stars), has launched a crowdfunder to help keep the festival (whose very existence is being threatened by its debt burden).

I'll let Sean make his pitch below (do read it, please), but I do want to let you know that there are all sorts of simple and rewarding ways for you--ska fans worldwide--to help Save the London International Ska Festival. You could do this by donating £5 for a raffle to take place this October (with prizes ranging from a £250 voucher to Merc clothing, a 250 voucher to Modfather clothing, a Trojan Records bundle, a Greensleeves Records bundle, a Cherry Red Red Records ska bundle, tickets to LISF Clash tribute or 2 Tone Thames cruises, signed LPs from Lynval Golding, Toots Hibbert, Mad Professor, and others, a subscription to Do The Dog Skazine, and much more!); pre-ordering the fantastic new Rudies All Around 18-track international ska compilation (CD, LP, digital) or the much-antipated Clash Version Rockers by the Phoenix City All-Stars (both albums start shipping out around September 21, 2018); or if you're planning to be in London or live there, consider buying advance tickets for one of the LISF club nights or river cruises this fall!

I've already pre-ordered the Rudies All Around and Clash Version Rockers albums and am about to pick up one of those raffle tickets (since you've got to be in it to win it). The Save the London International Ska Festival crowdfunder campaign only lasts until September 18, 2018, so if you want to do your part, you really do need to act now.

+ + + +

Sean Flowerdew: "I founded The London Intl Ska Festival in 1988. Since then we've celebrated all things ska, from its roots in mento, calypso and rhythm & blues and onward through its evolution into rocksteady, reggae, dub, 2 Tone, skapunk and beyond.

Since 2011 the festival has been operating with substantial debts, which despite some great support and fundraising still total over £50,000. In the last 8 years, although I haven't ever taken a penny from the festival or been paid for any of the work, I have been able to keep the festival going year to year and paying off debts as I go. This unfortunately has taken its toll and I can no longer afford to fund the festival by myself.

So I'm reaching out to ska lovers around the world, to people who see the importance of our historic festival and to all the people who have enjoyed the shows over the last 30 years.

The aim of this crowdfunder is to try and #SaveTheSkaFest and clear the historic debts once and for all. Then The London Intl Ska Festival can move forward and continue to programme world-class and world-exclusive shows. You can help in a number of ways.

You can donate using this campaign, or purchase any one of our rewards which include badges, our compilation CD & LP Rudies All Around (featuring 18 fantastic bands from 13 countries), or tickets for any one of our events (all listed in the rewards). I will also be adding some more rewards next week.

Over 30 years we have hosted some of the greatest names in the genre including 2 Tone members from The Specials and Madness, plus The Selecter, The Beat, Jerry Dammers and Rhoda Dakar. We've had Jamaican legends: Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, U-Roy, The Skatalites (starring Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Knibb, Lloyd Brevett, Dizzy Moore and Lester Sterling), Lee Perry, Horace Andy, Desmond Dekker, Ken Boothe, Doreen Shaffer, Derrick Morgan, Laurel Aitken, Keith & Tex, Ken Parker, Rico Rodriguez, Derrick Harriott, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Dennis Alcapone, Dave & Ansel Collins, The Pioneers, The Clarendonians, Otis Gayle, Owen Gray, Freddie Notes, Stranger Cole, Ranking Joe, BB Seaton (Gaylads), Twinkle Brothers, Clive Chin (Randys), Gladdy Wax sound system, Vin Gordon and Channel One sound system.

And 100s more including; Steel Pulse, Misty In Roots, Judge Dread, Bitty McLean, Caroll Thompson, Christopher Ellis, Dreadzone, Zion Train, The Skints, Pama International, Don Letts, David Rodigan, James Hunter, The Pietasters, The Toasters, African Head Charge, Dennis Bovell, Gentlemans Dub Club, Babylon Circus, Dub Pistols, Brinsley Forde (Aswad), The Hempolics, Jazz Jamaica, Mad Professor, The Loafers, Potato 5, Hotknives, Ska Cubano, Wrongtom, Manasseh, Sonic Boom Six, Chris Murray, to name a very few.

We have hosted shows in iconic London venues including; the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Forum, 100 Club, The Astoria, The Brixton Fridge (now the Electric), O2 Academy Islington, Islington Assembly Hall, Dixie Queen paddle steamer, Camden's Dublin Castle, Jazz Cafe, Dingwalls, Electric Ballroom and Barfly.

I would love to continue the festival. The next one is in the diary for 18-21 April 2019. If you'd like to see The London Intl Ska Festival continue please support if you can afford to and share this campaign with anyone you know who loves ska!"

+ + + + 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sir Horace Panter Reveals New Specials Album in the Works

Details are few and far between, but yesterday Specials' bass player Horace Panter revealed on his Facebook feed that he had spent his birthday recording tracks for a new Specials album (with original members Terry Hall and Lynval Golding), which is slated for a February 2019 release (he also posted this news on Twitter today). Specials biographer Paul Willo has apparently heard some of the tracks and commented online that they're "brilliant."

Since other 2 Tone-era acts--Madness, Dave Wakeling's Beat, Ranking Roger's Beat, Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson's Selecter, and The Bodysnatchers/Special AKA's Rhoda Dakar--have been releasing new music of late, it's good to see the remaining members of The Specials finally making a go of it.

Much more will be revealed in the coming months, no doubt (The Specials' official website hasn't been updated in eons). But stay tuned.

+ + + +