Sally Brown – Two Tone from Madrid
Redstar73 Blog: Please introduce your band to our readers.
Semi: Hi everybody! We are Sally Brown, a band established in Madrid in 2004 with the idea of bringing back to the foregound the influence of 80’s ska, which had been almost forgotten in the Spanish reggae&ska scene (from our point of view).
We are highly influenced by the whole 2tone label (from Madness and Specias to the Swinging Cats and the Bodysnatcher), and some other musical scenes such as northern pop (The Housemartins), new wave/power pop (from The Jam to Brighton 64) and some other bands such as Dexy’s Midnight Runners or The Redskins.
We are just fans trying to emulate our musical heroes.
Since our first gig in 2006 we have been working hard, playing a lot of gigs (we have even toured Germany), supporting international bands (such as I.H.Ska, Cherry Boop & the Sound Makers, The Offenders, The Toasters or Too Many Crooks), taking part in different compilations and releasing a couple of autoedited CD’s (“Is in town” in 2007 and “Mi palabra es la ley” in 2010).
At the moment we are six people: Luis (male singer), Lisi (female singer), Quique (guitar), Pérez (bass), Pepe (sax) and me, Semi (drummer). But around the band there are a lot of important pepople who help and support us daily: Cecilia (our graphic designer), Kortatu (our roadie/merchandiser) and our girlfriends and friends, who are also part of the band in a very special sense.
Redstar73 Blog: You have released a new CD “Mi Palabra es la Ley” last year. How was the feedback?
Semi: Yes! We spent almost six months recording it (both the musicians and the studio man are pretty busy people) and we worked hard on the songs. The album sets the end of an era in the band’s history and the beginning of a new period. It was the last recording of a guitar player, Javi, and our German trumpet player, Jan and the first recording with Luis as our singer. Half of the songs were classics from our setlist and were composed when Miguel (former Superangente 86’s trumpet player) was singing with us and the other half were created with Luis, so the cd has a very special flavour.
We think that the feedback has been very positive. Some reviews have appeared in international skazines (i.e.: Do the Dog, a British skazine) and we have tried to distribute the cd internationally.
Our friends and fans love it and this is always the most important feedback.
Redstar73 Blog: How is the scene in Madrid? Any good record shops? Bars?
Semi: Well, this is always a complicated question because defining and stablishing the boundaries of a scene is a controversial subject. Considering only the oldies (and oldies influenced sounds) I have to recognise that there are very interesting bands divided in two categories. On the one hand there are some bands that have been touring for years such as Majaicans, The Upsttemians or Sally Brown. These bands have improved a lot and at the moment they offer a really mature and conscious sound. On the other hand, a lot of new bands are appearing (Ready Getters, Back in Band, etc.) with a nice sound and attitude, which means that there are still people interested on playing this music. It is clear that Madrid’s scene is not as powerful as Catalonia’s one, but here you can find a lot of people working really hard.
At the moment I’m missing some clubs and dj sessions dedicated to reggae, ska and rocksteady. Since the closure of the Red Mussel Crew and Uptown Pleasure’s monthly sessions there has not been any periodical club dedicated to oldies. There are some ocassional parties and events (such as the 2 TONE WEEKEND) but Madrid needs a couple of monthly events. Of course there is not a bar or a club dedicated to ska and reggae.
Finally, when talking about shops, Up Beat is the place. This is the best shop in Madrid. It is entirely dedicated to black sounds (soul, reggae, ska, funk…) and also clothing (Merc, Fred Perry, Brutus Trimfit, etc.).
You can also visit Le Trip, a nice shop dedicated to t-shirts and records (from reggae to punk). Both shops are located in the same district, Malasaña.
Redstar73 Blog: Any plans for the future? Any new recordings?
Semi: At the moment we are planning our future new release: our first 7″ single, which has been produced by Don Fe, a recognised British dub producer who lives in Spain.
We are also preparing a live appearance for this summer, supporting Def con Dos (a classical Spanish rap/metal band) in a festival in Jaén.
Redstar73 Blog: Last words?!
Semi: Thank you very much for your interest in Sally Brown. Keep on working hard for the music we love and… excuse me for my horrible accent!!
For further info about Sally Brown check:
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