My favourite toy along with my Action Man and Stretch Armstrong was a Dansette 1950’s record player.
In the mid 1970’s Reggae was very much out of fashion and prog rock and psychedelic soul were what my Aunties and Uncles were into and I became custodian of their unwanted records. Labels like Trojan, Pama and Doctor Bird became more appealing than Parlophone and Decca.
My reggae passion was now making its presence felt, I was spending my pocket money on new Reggae releases.
Although I was living in Berkshire, visits to my multicultural spiritual home of Shepherds Bush to see QPR play, reggae was the sound of the street. You could hear reggae from a Mk1 Escort, hairdressers, tower block or record shop.
Throughout my teenage years despite being a loner at gigs because my friends were into new wave and soul this didn’t deter me and my musical path was set.
In an age before the internet there was literally no reference books or any information on reggae music apart from ‘Black Echoes Magazine’ and minimal coverage in other publications. I learnt to quiz elders in record shops and Jamaican bars like Dub Vendor, Daddy Kool and Gossips.
Around the late 1980’s I started to frequent a lot of grass roots Jamaican clubs and bars and completely immersed myself in the music and culture. My regular haunts were Reading’s Central Club, Slough Community Centre, The People’s Club Paddington and The Beaufoy Battersea.
The reggae apprenticeship was served and I joined Good Intentions Sound System from South London in the early 2000’s. Also around this time I had a hand in promoting shows and artists such as Susan Cadogan, Kofi and Winston Reedy.
In 2019, it was an honour to be asked to curate a charity event for Brian Travers of UB40 in the venue they very first played in 1979 the legendary Hare and Hounds Birmingham with a long list of Reggae icons.
You can catch me live on Mondays 8pm for the ‘Reeves Revival’ show