Reggae in Britain? An education
I’ve often been to gigs and thought I’d come away with a real education, but Dennis Bovell and his band look set to take such notions into uncharted and thrilling new directions.
Born in Barbados, the guitarist and singer (sometimes known as Blackbeard) was one of the main movers and groovers of the London scene of the late 70s/early 80s. Going further back his band Matumbi was one of England’s first reggae bands in the mid-70s. He has also released several albums of dub experiments, and participated in the BBC’s Reggae Britannia season in 2011. In short: he knows what he’s on about.
Along with his band at this special gig – and using archive film footage – he will chart reggae’s importance in African-Caribbean culture/heritage, its place in the social and political context of the time and how it went on to influence other music forms. From its origins in ska and rocksteady and right through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, this promises to be some ride. And some night.Reggae in Britain: Dennis Bovell and Friends, Tuesday 5 December, Sage Two, Sage Gateshead, 8pm, £13. http://sagegateshead.com/event/dennis-bovell46800/