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The Crack Magazine

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Did Someone Mention Riddim?

If you’re looking for the heart and soul of roots of reggae then The Abyssinians will be able to hit you up with everything you need.

The album that is often held up as the crowning achievement of the roots reggae movement is The Abyssinians’ classic 1976 long-player ‘Satta Massagana’. The title track itself was a huge hit, covered by countless artists, and was even adopted by some Rastafarian groups as a hymn and used during services. (It was also name-checked by Joe Strummer on The Clash’s ‘Jimmy Jazz’ – “Satta Massagana for Jimmy Dread.”) The album was also feted for the band’s superb close harmony singing, which they became famous for and something that was very evident on their follow up release – 1978’s equally enthralling ‘Arise’. These days the band continue to wow audiences with their authentic sound and, yep, their unique singing style remains as sweet as ever. GM

The Abyssinians, Wednesday 25 May, The Cluny, Newcastle, 8pm, £20. 


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