Monday, November 28, 2011

King Hammond Storms NYC This Week (Thursday and Saturday)!

If you've been following The Duff Guide to Ska for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a ridiculously big fan of King Hammond, who is coming over from the UK to make two rare appearances in New York City this week, backed by early reggae masters The Hard Times. These days, it's not too often that we have out-of-country ska musicians performing here in NYC (a shame, really), so make sure to come out to these shows!

Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

King Hammond and The Hard Times

2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard (aka 7th Avenue between 133rd and 134th Streets)
New York, NY

The Hard Times go on at 9:00 pm; King Hammond hits the stage at 10:30 pm.

Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Dirty Reggae Party #14 at The Lake with King Hammond, The Hard Times, The Reggay Lords (plus Ticklah on the decks!)

The Lake
258 Johnson Avenue (between Bushwick Avenue and White Street)
Brooklyn, NY

(Take the L train to Montrose, walk down Bushwick and make a left on Johnson--or take the J train to Flushing, walk towards Bushwick Avenue, make a left, and walk till you hit Johnson Avenue and make a right. Look for the metal door with '258' on it, open it, and go up the stairs...)

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You may ask yourself, who exactly is King Hammond and why should I care?

Inspired by the late ʻ60s/early ʻ70s reggae hits (like The Upsetters' "Return of Django," Harry J All Stars' "Liquidator," and Dave & Ansell Collins' "Double Barrel") that ruled the British airwaves when he was a youth, Nick Welsh launched his King Hammond project back in 1987 (initially claiming--and sometimes fooling people--that King Hammond was this lost gem of an artist from the skinhead reggae era that Nick had discovered), while he was the bassist and songwriter for Bad Manners (“Skaville UK,” “This is Ska,” “Return of the Ugly”).

After his first single “King Hammond Shuffle” appeared on several international compilations (including Ska for Ska's Sake in 1989 on Skank Records), King Hammond released two fantastic albums of skinhead reggae, Revolution ʻ70 (Bluebeat, 1989) and Blow Your Mind (Receiver/Trojan, 1992).

During the 1990s, Welsh joined Pauline Blackʼs Selecter as bassist and songwriter (plus he produced their four studio albums--my favorite of the lot was 1999's Cruel Britannia); was a member of 3 Men & a Black, with J.J. Burnell (The Stranglers), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Roddy Radiation (The Specials), Dave Wakeling (The Beat), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), and Pauline Black; and collaborated with ex-Belle Stars singer Jennie Matthias in Big 5. Then, in the mid-2000s, Welsh fronted his own ska band, Skaville UK, which released three albums (1973, Decadent, and Devil Beat--click on the links for The Duff Guide to Ska reviews).

Welsh revived King Hammond in 2010 and since that time has released three albums (The King and I, Jacuzzi, and Showbiz--click on the links for The Duff Guide to Ska reviews) and two vinyl EPs ("Riot in London Town" and "Hey, Mr. DJ") on his own N.1 Records imprint. In June 2011, King Hammond was a featured performer at the Ink ʼn ʼIron Festival in Long Beach, CA (and played several gigs in Mexico afterwards), and is touring throughout the UK and Europe with this seven-piece band The Rude Boy Mafia.

During his four decades in ska and reggae, Welsh has played with and produced such legendary artists as Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Dave Barker, Rico Rodriguez, Judge Dread, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Notably, Welsh worked with Perry as the musical director on the Grammy-Award winning album Jamaican E.T. (Sanctuary/Trojan, 2002)—winner of Best Reggae Album in 2003--and its follow-up, Alien Starman (Secret Records, 2004).

Welsh also has written music for television (“The Osbournes,” “Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “LA Ink”), films (“Domino,” “The Magic Roundabout”), and videogames (“WWE Smackdown versus RAW,” “Day of Reckoning”)--so even if you don't know King Hammond, you've probably heard his music...

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You can read an interview I did with Nick last year here.

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If you're in the NYC area, hope to see you at one or both of these gigs!

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1 comment:

Asbestos Records said...

any chance you could make a post about these?

-the people who brought you Ska is Dead 7" Series.