ST1 (Stone): At Last

‘At Last’ is the forthcoming album from East London’s ST1 (aka Stone). It follows the success of his earlier reggae EP ‘Stoned Roots’ and his live reputation as a performer, either relaxing or upbeat depending on the mood of the music. Tracks like ‘This One’s For You’ and ‘Ba Ba Boom’ are straightahead reggae but he is also capable of soulful and melodic songs – as all the best reggae performers are. Currently unsigned, ST1 is nonetheless building a grassroots following through his live gigs and his own releases. Worth looking out for!

ST1 (Stone): At Last, release 2020

Gentleman’s Dub Club

Since its formation in 2006, Gentleman’s Dub Club has established a firm reputation as the purveyor of an individual brand of live dub/reggae music. Originating from Leeds, they are currently coming up to a tour of the UK, starting in London at the Electric Ballroom on 13th February and culminating in the fine city of Newcastle upon Tyne at the Boiler Room on 1st March 2020.

Known primarily as a live band, the Gentleman’s Dub Club have in fact released seven studio albums and numerous singles and remixes to date and have worked alongside leading reggae names including Prince Fatty, Roots Manuva, Hollie Cook, Mungos Hi Fi and UB40.

The complete itinerary for the forthcoming tour is as follows – please double-check to avoid disappointment!

February 2020

13th – London, Electric Ballroom

14th – Norwich, Waterfront

15th – Brighton, C H A L K

16th – Cardiff, Y Plas

19th – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

20th – Cambridge, Junction

21st – Southampton, The 1865

22nd – Bristol, SWX

25th – Glasgow, The Garage

26th – Leeds, Stylus

28th – Liverpool, Invisible Wind Factory

29th – Manchester, Academy 2

March 2020

1st – Newcastle, Boiler Shop

Kioko: Let’s Be Frank

Here’s a new single from Birmingham-based band Kioko, influenced by the company of great names like the Wailers, Lee Perry and UB40. It’s upbeat pop-reggae, melodic and optimistic. Kioko have earned a formidable reputation as a live band, including performing at Glastonbury, and have supported the Dub Pistols amongst others on tour. The single manages to capture and refresh the classic reggae sound. Good to hear on these chilly dark nights. It seems that Kioko means ‘meets the world with happiness’ – here’s  a dub version to get you into the groove!

Kioko: Let’s Be Frank, release November 2019.

Roland Kemokai: Smile Again (featuring Roland and the Roots Riddim)

“Music was my first love. When bullets were flying in the streets of Monrovia, taking lives at random, my three-stringed guitar became my best friend and deepest comfort.”

From such adversity in his early life, what a pleasure to hear this gentle melodic reggae sound from Roland ‘Mista Muzic’ Kemokai, reggae artist and writer born in Liberia and now living in Austin, Texas. There’s nothing complicated here: just a nice optimistic vibe as we are almost at Christmas. This single, ‘Smile Again’, is taken from Roland’s new 12-track album ‘Set My Spirit Free’ and it’s definitely worth a listen.

Wishing everyone who reads these pages a very Happy Christmas. Let’s hope the world regains some sanity in 2019.

Shanty: Longtime

10406769_742438795862516_4518831551263925704_n (3)Being dubbed (so to speak) as the “best of British reggae” and “a very talented young band of players” by no less than David Rodigan gives any band a lot to live up to. Shanty’s reaction is to keep to the same successful course they have already embarked upon. Their new single is, as on previous releases (see 29 September 2014), an upbeat brass-led danceable sound that captures the vocals of Ben Willis very effectively. This London band has established a formidable live reputation, playing alongside the likes of the Skints, Prince Fatty and Neville Staple, and they have captured that live feel in this new release. Instrumentally Shanty share the approach of the Specials but the mood is different: Shanty are a feel-good bunch. The sound of the band can best be described as the Specials without the doom and gloom.

Shanty: Longtime; release 18 September 2015