Mark Professor – Oystah Card


Oystah Card – Tune.. review..

Mark Prefessor, out now, buy it..
Mark Professor, out now, buy it..

There’s a new tune getting spun at Murphy Towers, ‘Oystah Card’, a fun uplift of Jamaican Jerk Mixed U.K. pepper sauce with a dash of humour, a pinch of patois, and a suspicion of hit about it.

And top hole of all… it’s by someone I’ve seen perform on many occasions about the London Reggae revival scene, namely at Tighten Up a night that has morphed about Town for many a year. Mark Byer aka Mark Professor.

It’s got cheek, he rides the riddim like lizard pon a limb, it has a certain Britishness, it’s light, but it’s heavy (ish). It reminds me of that quirky nod and knowing wink that Kilburn and the High Roads had, that was thusly imparted to Suggs and his lot of Mad Men.

Word is Roddy loves it too..

In my role as Bigmikeydread Reggae radio supremo and self inflated fat person people send me ’nuff demo, ’nuff tune, ’nuff stuff, ’nuff already. Mark Professor didn’t, Mark Professor just put together with his crew a tune worthy of spondoolick donations from my very own personal wallet, albeit a Paypal purchase on eBay. Further word is that it’s all but sold out, not a wonder to this here one.

Hear it below..

 

Sound System at the V&A Museum


Staying Power: Decks, Dance and Dialogue 1950-2000

Promotional image for Staying Power: Decks, Dance and Dialogue 1950-2000
  • What:
    Special Events
  • When:
    Fri 18 April 2014 14:00
  • Where:
    The V&A

SPECIAL EVENT: Explore the themes captured by photographers who have recorded the black experience.

A day and night event, open to all, to discover how photography has recorded the transformation of music, the wave of subcultures and the shifting disposition of a nation. Chill out with DJs in the garden, bring your photographs to our preservation experts, share your photo story with an oral historian, attend an image-making masterclass and show off your results in our pop-up display.

Jointly organised with the London International Ska Festival and Tighten Up Crew

Staying power is a partnership project between the V&A and the Black Cultural Archive (BCA) funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Collecting Cultures Initiative

Review of Carnival, Canboulay and Calypso: Traditions in the Making


Carnival, Canboulay and Calypso: Traditions in the Making – John Cowley – 1999

carinalcanboulayI’m a big fan of Calypso and have wanted to know more about the background and development of this genre of Caribbean music for a while now. Cowley’s book goes someway to explaining the historical background to its development.

Being a study of Trinidad and it’s tradition of Carnival, Canboulay and of Calypso, it’s not entirely taken over with music but seeks to explain how Carnival came about, its roots and development from the earliest records right through to the era of sound recording. Whence it’s music became the predominant force by which it was known worldwide. In general it succeeds.

It reads like a well written and engaging thesis, a historical study, unfortunately suffering from structural repetition as the author uses mainly newspaper reports of Carnival to trace development over time. Wonderful that it begins in the days of Trinidad’s enslaved Africans and discusses the influence of that islands’ many diverse ethnic groups on Carnival and Carnival’s culture (music included), but it is a little dry and lacking in personal testimony. We are treated over and over again to reports of each year’s Carnival and of the subsequent court cases involving wayward participants, and this becomes mildly soporific.

However within these confines it is also revealing and revelatory.

Did you for example know about the tradition of stick fighting in Trinidad? Or the many riots that occurred during Carnival and the way in which Carnival became a canvas for the dispossessed to paint their complaints and to cock a Snook at the gentry and at the White and sometimes Creole classes? The book reveals the influence of North American black-face minstrelsy and of Jubilee singers on Trinidadians and on Carnival, and the influence of touring Circus on the island. It tells of the influence of the Spanish and the French and particularly of Venezuelan culture. Finally it discusses the rise of the calypsonians in the early part of the 20th century.

In short you’ve got to be a motivated reader to engage fully with this book, but if you are, then it’s a great read.

Not for the feint hearted or general reader.

Mento, not Calypso – Fantastic Voyage Double Cd to be released


Mento, not Calypso – Fantastic Voyage Double Cd to be released

mentonotcalypsoDue out on the 12th of August this year (2013) hopefully Mento lovers and the general music loving public will enjoy this double cd of Jamaica’s very own vintage music. With 51 songs in the main dubbed from 78rpm singles and some from hard to find early Long Playing Lps, there should be something on it that pleases the ears of Mento mad music lovers. At least I hope so, because I had the joy of compiling it.

Currently it’s available on pre-release on Amazon here – See it on Amazon

Entirely from my own collection

Entirely taken from my own collection of rare 78rpm discs, I am told that the track listing will be, as I submitted, please see below. Though the label Fantastic Voyage have not confirmed that as I write, it seems likely.

What the hell is on it then?

Many of the songs have never been widely available and even for the avid collector, may not be well known. Being able to include some of the songs from an album called MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND which likely features Lord Lebby and may have been produced by Stanley Motta for the hotel was for me a highlight. I tried really hard not to repeat too many songs that have already seen digital release, though did include some, where for instance they have only appeared once elsewhere, or have been duplicated on less than ‘pukka’ releases. I was helped in the dubbing/recording of the discs by Port O Jam, and I understand to some degree they have been ‘restored’ since, though until I hear the final cds, I won’t know how heavily. I hope they leave a good level of texture to the cd release, though understandably the hiss of a 78rpm record and the obvious scratches that walk with a recording that’s over 50 years old may not be to everyone’s taste.

Bases covered?

Hopefully I covered a number of bases, Rural Mento, Hotel Mento, both the rootsy and more commercial sounds, I wanted to include records created by the main movers in  Mento in the 50s and early 60s and so have included recordings produced by Chin, Tewari, Khouri and Motta, and sung by singers like Count Lasher, Lord Power, Harold Richardson etc. It also includes some of  the earliest recorded work by Lord Flea for Khouris pre Federal Times Record label.

At the same time hopefully I’ve made the two cd albums work in their own right, providing and entertaining overall ‘listen’ and not just a collection of individual songs.

Witter on why don’t you?

I won’t witter on, but I think it will be a more than welcome addition to anyone’s collection of Jamaican Mento, early Jamaican and Caribbean music. If you love Mambo, Cuban Jazz, Paranda, Ska or are a World Music and Folk fan, you’ll find loads on it to excite. Put it this way, If I hadn’t compiled it, or already collected the tunes, I’d be very very excited to get hold of a copy.

Tracklisting:

As I write this is the assumed track listing. Please excuse the Upper and Lower case . . .
cd1
01 Sir Horace and His Merry Knights  – Vocal – Horace Abrahams – Mambo Jamaica
02 TOWER ISLANDERS, THE – BROWN SKIN GAL
03 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – RED HEAD
04 GEORGE MOXEY QUARTET – VOCALIST – CLYDE HOYTE – MONTEGO CALYPSO
05 LORD TICKLER – MEDLEY – SWEETIE CHARLEY – MR. PARNEY – MANGO WALK
06 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Mary’s Lamb – The More We Are Together
07 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Calabash
08 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Wheel And Turn Me
09 Chin’s Calypso Sextet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Give Her Love aka Woman’s Tenderness
10 Wigglers, The – Vocal – Denzil Laing – Limbo
11 Jamaica Boy (Denzil Laing) and his Kingston Calypso Orchestra – Man Is Smart, Woman’s Smarter
12 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – The Mighty Panther – The Talking Parrot
13 BABA MOTTA AND HIS ORCHESTRA (VOCALS BEN BOWER) – KITCH
14 LORD POWER – PENNY REEL
15 Dan Williams and his Orchestra – Vocal Lord Fly – Calypso – Whai Whai Whai
16 HAROLD RICHARDSON – GREEN GUAVA
17 Ticklers, The – Vocal – Harold Richardson – Hard Hearted Lover (Man Could A Smart)
18 COUNT LASHER WITH GEORGE MOXEY AND HIS CALYPSO QUINTET – THE OLE MAN’S DRIVE
19 Local Calypso Quintet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Honeymoon
20 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – HOLD ‘IM JOE
21 TOWER ISLANDERS, THE – ADVICE TO MEN
22 Dan Williams and his Orchestra – Vocal Lord Fly – Transportation Kingston Style
23 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Donkey City
24 COUNT OWEN AND HIS CALYPSONIANS – TAKE HER TO JAMAICA
25 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Calypso Cha Cha Cha
26 Lord Power and His Calypsonians – Mambo La La

Cd2
01 Sir Horace and His Merry Knights  – Vocal – Horace Abrahams – Morgan’s Mento
02 Lord Power and His Calypsonians – Special Amber Calypso
03 LORD TICKLER – LIMBO
04 COUNT OWEN AND HIS CALYPSONIANS – BROWN SKIN GAL
05 REYNOLDS CALYPSO CLIPPERS – VOCALIST BOYSIE GRANT – TENOR BANJO – EDDIE BROWN – SOLUS MARKET
06 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal Lord Lebby – Ethiopia
07 Chin’s Calypso Sextet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Industrial Fair
08 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Dalvey Gal – Parson
09 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Miss Goosie
10 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Mattie Rag, Brown Skin Gal
11 Ticklers, The – Vocal – Harold Richardson – Parish Gal
12 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – The Mighty Panther – Cinemascope
13 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – BACK TO BACK, BELLY TO BELLY
14 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Miss Daisy And Brown Skin Girl
15 Count Lashers Calypso Quintet – Vocal Count Lasher – Trek To England
16 George Moxey and his Calypso Quintet – Vocal by Joseph Clemendore (Cobra Man) – My Brother Calamity
17 CHIN’S SEXTET (VOCALS A. BEDASSE) – ADAM AND EVE
18 Jamaica Boy (Denzil Laing) and his Kingston Calypso Orchestra – Mary Ann, Brown Skin Gal
19 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Perseverence
20 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Ugly Woman
21 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Run Mongoose, Linstead Market
22 Count Lashers Calypso Quintet – Vocal Count Lasher – Water The Garden
23 MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND (FEAT. LORD LEBBY) – BLOODSHOT EYES
24 Local Calypso Quintet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Money Is King
25 TOWER ISLANDERS, THE – HOLD ‘IM JOE

Finally I wanted to sa:

‘I WOULD LIKE TO DEDICATE THIS RELEASE TO MIKE HINDLE, CHARLIE REGGAE, IAN CAUSER, PHIL ETGART & LOL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY, RICHARD NOBLETT, RON GEESIN AND THOSE INVOLVED IN THE BOOGU YAGGA GAL CD RELEASE FOR INSPIRATION, DAN NEELY & ALL MUSICAL ENTHUSIASTS EVERYWHERE, TO JAMAICA, & TO THE ORIGINAL ARTISTES AND PRODUCERS OF THESE SONGS, TO ALL FAMILY BUT MOST ESPECIALLY TO MY DAD BARRY MURPHY WHO ONCE RECORDED AND COMPILED AN LP FOR FOLKWAYS RECORDS & INSPIRED MANY MUSICALLY THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE.’
– THANKS ALL’

U-Roy UK tour 2013 Don’t bother, you’ll come home disappointed. A Review.


Brighton 27th March 2013 U-Roy

Simple as this, Headlining on the promotional material, U-Roy was on the Mic in  2 and a half hour period for about 8 minutes.

Banditry. The promoter will be getting a letter from the trading standards authority telling them why a customer was desperately unhappy at the way in which he and many others were treated. General Trees and Little Twitch, who were not hardly highlighted on the poster for the gig, took the Mic and rocked the house for an extended period and did so with nuff style, some great tunes, well-selected and some fine toasting and boosting of a now non existent Stur Gav ‘Sound’, in my opinion a wallet of cds and a few self promoting specials by the likes of Blender and Coco Tea do not constitute a Jamaican Sound System, but I was prepared to let this one drop… not however the shit way the punters were treated by both promoter and U-Roy.

Daddy Roy, or Robber Roy as I think I’ll be referring to him from now could have taken the Mic at any point he so wished, and yet he preferred to stand with the selector, staring at an iPad for much of the gig, occasionally looking on with a wry smile. Probably thinking of the money he was raking in for doing…. urr… exactly zilch! Perhaps he was on eBay trying to buy up some of his rare back catalogue on auction.

Bandit Bizness by Promoter and Daddy Roy
Bandit Bizness by Promoter and Daddy Roy

Truly shameful performance by someone I once had a great deal of respect for. This was an example of something I’ve seen before and yet another occasion where ‘white bwoy a follower’ stand and listen to supposedly roots and culture artistes tell them about all about one love, unity, peace and love and equality while having their wallets washed out by people who don’t live what they preach and teach.

Shame on you.