The Specials – Live in 1979 and 1980

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Thanks to the youtube users FruitierThanThou, London’s Burning and Audio Ammunition for uploading the videos

The Specials – Live at the Moonlight Club May 1979

The Specials – Colchester 12 December 1979

The Specials – The Paris Theatre London 15 December 1979

The Specials – Tokyo 20 July 1980

Top 5 Galore – Waggle Dance Studios

Five choice picks in a vinyl mix from Waggle Dance Studios home of Eeyun Delroy Purkins and The Co-operators rhythm section.

Here are the first five records in the stack next to my turntable so truly picked at random, I wrote a little about each one, be sure to check them out as you read all about.

1: Roland Alphonso – Sai Pan

I think that this tune was originally released in 1966 a raging ska instrumental featuring Roland Alphonso’s distinctive tenor sax sound over an up-tempo shuffle. Many of my generation view ‘heaviness’ as the foundation of a good soundsystem tune and feel that weight is defined by a four to the floor drum beat and a two note bassline, don’t get me wrong I see and feel the appeal of that but this tune is truly foundation music and for me is a real heavyweight killer. The musicality of its instrumentation speaks volumes about the discipline present on the island at that moment in time and the movement of the rhythm would get anybody dancing.

2: Ethiopians – Everything Crash

I was given this record many years ago by an old friend of mine Martin the Mod an infamous soul and ska DJ from Manchester. Released in 1968 it is conscious classic talking of how ‘fireman strike, watermen strike, telephone company too’, it paints a vivid picture of an island halted in its tracks by social upheaval and protest.

1968 was a year of protest the world over with the famous events of Paris 68 taking up much of the limelight Jamaica’s ‘Rodney Riots’ that happened in October of the same year are often forgotten. The civil disturbances occurred when Walter Rodney an avid advocate of socialism and black power activism was dismissed from his position at the University of the West Indies. He was dedicated to raising the consciousness of the Jamaican poor and a critic of the middle classes of the Caribbean and his dismissal resulted in large protests in Kingston.

3: Glenn and Dave – Wake up to Reality

Produced by Sonia Pottinger one of the first female producers in Jamaica it is a plea to the people of JA for co-operation declaring ‘we ought to wake up to reality’ a message as relevant in 1968 as it is in 2017. It is a timeless classic underpinned by Count Ossie’s Nyabinghi heartbeat recently reissued as a limited run of 600 7” 45s. Pick it up before its too late!

4: Maxie and Niney- Bearded Men Feast

Jumping forward in time to 1972 this number features Max Romeo talking about the police and soldier putting pressure on Jamaica’s Rastafarian population. Being an adherent of Rastafari was historically not something that came without consequences on an island where the first prime minister of independent Jamaica actively portrayed Rasta’s followers in to villains demonising all involved. It could easily be said that Alexander Bustamante brought his round up plea right out of a wild west picture, demanding he wanted dreads brought in ‘Dead or Alive’ after ‘bearded men’ allegedly set fire to a gas station. It is said that the men lead by Rudolph Franklyn were aiming to settle their grievances with the land owner after they were evicted from property they had been squatting in Coral Gardens. Although Rastafari presents a philosophy of peace and love Bustamante’s declaration that all Rastas were a threat lead to what can only be described as a a death sentence to all followers of the faith. The brutality that followed resulted in eight deaths by government forces and an additional two police fatalities and in the years to come it advanced the progressive repression of Jamaica’s Rasta population.

Maxie and Niney’s Bearded Men Feast is a defiant statement against this mentality proudly declaring how ‘they never run, they never run, when police men come’ but sadly saying how ‘they affe run when soldier man come’.

5: Little Roy – Tribal War

Now famous for voicing Prince Fatty’s production ‘Battle in Seattle’ a compilation of Nirvana covers in a reggae style Little Roy’s influence as a foundation artist could easily be missed by younger fans of Jamaican music.

This classic tracked in 73 and released in 74 was recorded in Lee Perry’s legendary Black Ark studio and it features the likes of Dennis Brown on bass and Rockers anti hero Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace on Drums. The vocal is a plea for peace between Jamaica’s rival gangs recorded first take with the intention of it being a rough guide but its quality shone through and it was kept. Little Roy released ‘Tribal War’ on his own Tafari label and sold thousands by hand walking to Kingston’s North Parade with stacks of vinyl distributing it himself to the record vendors. It received little airplay keeping out of the charts although it was one of the hits of the day alongside Junior Byles ‘Curly Locks’.

Takers & Users – Backbars and Alleyways interview

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Redstar73 Blog: Please can you introduce your band. When was it started? What about your name?
Takers & Users: The band started in 2014. Myself and Sprouley had played in Hardcase previously. We then asked Darzo to sing and he decided to play bass as well. Ryan joined on second guitar about a year later. The name came from the Business song Takers and Users. No real meaning behind it.

Redstar73 Blog: You have released your album ‘Backbars & Alleyways’. Tell us more about it!
Takers & Users: We initially recorded 4 tracks in a studio in Larne and released a 100 demos ourselves. We sent a few out to labels to see if anyone would release our album and Diana at Randale was interested. So we went back into the studio and recorded another 6 songs and put them all together for the album.

Redstar73 Blog: As we are big fans of the Neurotics here, please tell us the story behind your song “The Neurotics Were Right”.
Takers & Users: It was more a dig at the Tories than it was a tribute to the Neurotics to be honest. I’m a fan of the Neurotics and went to see them the last time they played Belfast, but the lyrics are more to do with the welfare reforms that were being implemented by the Tories.

Redstar73 Blog: How important is for you the DIY idea and politics?
Takers & Users: I think for a band like ours the idea of DIY will always be important. Most gigs we play are either put on by ourselves or our friends, and its better that way to be honest. It generally means you don’t have to deal with any bullshit. As far as politics goes we’re not really party political. I’ve never voted in a general election and don’t think any of us have to be honest.

Redstar73 Blog: What are your plans for the future?
Takers & Users: Hopefully release an EP soon, finish writing our second album and get a few more gigs under our belts.

Redstar73 Blog: How is the scene in Belfast?
Takers & Users: The scene in Belfast is quite small, and because of that the gigs are mixed. For example there wouldn’t be enough oi bands to do a full oi gig so we normally play with hardcore, ska or psychobilly bands.

Redstar73 Blog: Give us your Top5 Oi&Punk songs.
Takers & Users: Tough one to narrow it down. It changes all the time. In no particular order.

Cocksparrer – Take em all
The Business – Product
Marching Orders – Songs of yesterday
Runnin Riot – Double the pain
Red Alert – Long Night in Long Island

Redstar73 Blog: Last words!
Takers & Users: Cheers for getting in touch. Happy New Year and hopefully speak soon.

https://www.facebook.com/takersandusers/
https://takersusers.bandcamp.com/releases

The Mighty Fishers – Newsteady EP interview

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Redstar73 Blog: Please could you introduce the band.
The Mighty Fishers: The Mighty Fishers was formed in 2011 and during this relatively short time we have already changed a lot.
Only CéAnne (vocals) and Peter (rhythm guitar) remained from the original crew. Also, musically we formed and evolved, if you compare our first and last releases. The foundation of the band was to play traditional, old school music but since we are different personally, the music is also something else.
In this five years we played in many countries all across Europe which is amazing considering that we started from nothing. We love our fans a lot, as they give us the energy to keep ourselves together and to prove them on every gig that it worth to polish their dancing shoes!

Redstar73 Blog: You have released a new EP called ‘Newsteady’. Please tell us more about it.
The Mighty Fishers: Yes, finally we released our awaited EP! We haven’t released anything in a while, it’s been a long road but we made new songs and it may be a new area for the band, therefore we named the baby ’Newsteady’.
The EP contains 5 brand new tracks, mostly about the world we live in. The original plan was to record an LP but many things changed around us lately, we had to change members and so forth, so we ended up with only a handful of songs actually recorded in the studio. The whole process was different with this EP, we spent more time in the studio figuring out how we can make it sound modern but still keep a perk of the
old taste.


Redstar73 Blog: What other releases have you done so far?
The Mighty Fishers: We have released three EPs so far: ’High Four’ (2011), a little collection of rocksteady classics, covers of songs we like, ’Where are you?’ (2012), the very first originals and ’Newsteady EP’ (2016). We have also released an LP (on CD and vinyl) titled ’Soul Garden’ back in 2014.

Redstar73 Blog: What are your plans for the future?
The Mighty Fishers: We definitely would love to record a new whole LP in the taste of ‘Newsteady’. Also, it would be nice to go on long-long tours to all the cities and towns the world has and introduce our music to everyone!

Redstar73 Blog: Give us your Top5 Ska songs.
The Mighty Fishers:
The Mighty Vikings – Love me forever,
Otis Gayle – I’ll be around,
Pat Kelly – How long will it take,
Jennifer Lara – A change is gonna come and last but not least Hypnotic eyes by Keith and Tex. (by CéAnne)

Redstar73 Blog: And the highlights of the Mighty Fishers story so far?
The Mighty Fishers: So many things already in such a short time! All of our releases of course, it’s always the last one which matters the most… and our gigs all across Europe: Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and many more… all were amazing and unique, giving us unforgettable memories and the reassuring feeling that we can give to our audience.

Redstar73 Blog: Last words!
The Mighty Fishers: The chorus of our new song ‘Respect Yourself’: ‘RESPECT YOURSELF, DON’T WAIT, TAKE YOUR TIME!’

The Mighty Fishers contact:
https://www.facebook.com/mightyfishers/
http://themightyfishers.com/
https://mightyfishers.bandcamp.com/

Buy the Soul Garden CD here:
http://redstar73.com/tienda/the-mighty-fishers-soul-garden-cd-p-3527.html

One Step Ahead – Hinter Fassaden Interview

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Redstar73 Blog: Please can you introduce your band. When it was started? What about your name?
One Step Ahead: We are ONE STEP AHEAD from the small Saxon town Limbach-Oberfrohna. We were founded at the end of 2010 and are playing hardcore-punk. Before that we played in various other bands and were and still are active in political and subcultural groups for a while. Half a year ago our bass player dropped out and since then two friends of us helped us out on our concerts and played bass. It was difficult for us to find a good and suitable name for our band at the beginning.
There is a song called ‘One Step Ahead’ by the band ‘Guerilla’, which we liked very much (especially content-wise), so we named our band after it.

Redstar73 Blog: You are going to release your new album soon. Please tell us about it.
One Step Ahead: Our album called ‘Hinter Fassaden’ will be released as vinyl and download in a few months by the record labels RiotBike Records and Streetwar Records. It is a consistently political album and we hope the music is a bit diversified. The songs show the whole history of our band because some of them we wrote five years ago and others were completed just before the recording. Thematically our songs are primarily about the strengthening of reactionary and fascist powers since the rise of PEGIDA in Germany and the related changes in society. As well we try to point out problems in our own scene so other people reconsider their own acting. In the song ‘Ihre Fassaden’ we say that we do not need right-wing tendencies in the punk- and hardcore-scene and that we do not tolerate merchandise from R.A.C. or right-wing bands on our shows. We definitely wonder how the reactions on the album will be and we can hardly await to hold the result in our hands.


Redstar73 Blog: What other releases have you done so far?
One Step Ahead: The album ‘Hinter Fassaden’ is actually our first album after five years. In 2011 we released our first demo on CD-R and after that we were in studio to record some songs for various Samplers. Two years ago we burnt all of our previous records on a CD and distributed it to the people for donation on our shows. We made two different versions of this CD – the ‘Riot Dogs’n’Cops’ version and the ‘Clench ya fist’ version. Both versions differ only because we liked the idea that people can decide which design they like the most personally.

Redstar73 Blog: How important is for you the DIY idea and politics?
One Step Ahead: Punk is not business. But unfortunately the reality is different. Booking agencies are growing more and more, there are huge salaries for famous bands or reunions of ‘punk legends’, which seemingly have no longer a connection to the scene. And those determine the image of bigger punk concerts or events. In our opinion the idea of DIY is one of the most important in the punk-scene and that’s the reason why we always like to play at solidarity concerts. But politics are very important for us as well. We really like it when concerts run under a political context or when there are some antifascist information points. We think punkrock can only come along with an antifascist self-concept. All too often right-wing tendencies were able to spread? under the mantle of the non-political inside the scene.

Redstar73 Blog: What are your plans for the future?
One Step Ahead: Well at the moment we have no concrete plans for the future.
As a start we want to make our upcoming record public and want to move around a little bit.
In 2017 we would like to make another tour and also play some international concerts, like we did this year. Maybe we will write some new songs as well so that our next album won’t take another 5 years to be released.

Redstar73 Blog: Give us your Top 5 Oi! & Punk Songs
One Step Ahead: Oh, that’s really difficult… we listen to quite different music but we were able to agree on these five songs:

Blitz – Razors In The Night
Arkada Social – En la oscuridad
Non Servium – A.C.A.B.
Versaute Stiefkinder – Schlag zurück
Guerilla – The Streets are ours

Redstar73 Blog: Last words
One Step Ahead: We wanna thank you for presenting our band and wish you continuous success with your label and your online shop.

https://www.facebook.com/ONExSTEPxAHEAD/
https://one-step-ahead.bandcamp.com/

 

Bluekilla – Ska Is Our Business Interview

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Redstar73 Blog: You started back in 1985. Anyone left from the original line up? How was the Ska scene back in 1985? Any other bands playing Ska in that time?
Amedeo: There are still two members left from the original five piece suit. Our drummer Fiebig and our bassman Guido. Chris (lead guitar), a third original member left the band in 2003.
There was no Ska scene in 1985. Bluekilla startet playing gigs later, around 1986 or something. I can’t remember any Ska concert around that time. All bands had split up or where in a start up process. The last Ska concert I remember in the early/mid eighties was THE UNTOUCHABLES from the States, and it was a lousy presentation of a test-tube band trying to imitate some notorious british bands. In those days the SKATALITES’ “Return of the Big Guns” couldn’t get anybody moving on the dancefloor. JUDGE DREAD’s 1985 album “Not Guilty” was a terrible misstep into bad taste disco. 1985 was a musical wasteland, Ska was dead until its rebirth in 1989.

Redstar73 Blog: What were the highlihgts? To mine mind are coming your tours in ex-Jugoslawia and Australia. Could you tell us more about both tours.
Amedeo: From the point of playing a gig the most remarkable highlights have always been our CD release parties and jubilee events in our hometown Munich. Of course we had countless gigs abroad that we still remember today. Those tours you mentioned have rather been milestones in the evolution of the band. 1997 in Yugoslavia, we realized that we can rely on eath other in even difficult and dangerous situations. Australia on the other side was just a massive effort with 11 shows in 18 days only on Thursdays and weekends. It was like a big trip in a Carlos Castagneda book. At the end we had to realize that one of us slid away from our conglomerate.

Redstar73 Blog: You always make a statement against fascism. How importartant is this for you? Did you ever had any problems at shows?
Amedeo: It is the most important thing in out lives, to make statements against fascism in all situations of our lives. On stage and on our records, we have the chance to make a statement which is heard by other people. That’s why we never stop doing so. In  the 1990s there were a lot of problems with neofascists in Germany and we had to deal with all that crap on some of our gigs. Some people thought Ska is the perfect playground for their sick ideology. in the 2000s thing got better but right now we must wittnes the return of nationalism and rascism in all shapes all over Europe. It never stops being essential to make yourself clear how you think about these matters.

Redstar73 Blog: You have played some shows in France and England this summer. How was the experience?
Amedeo: Extremely cool! We never where a band that was invited to play on festivals a lot. If you have no booking agency, it is hard to get a foot into that door. Festivals mostly work out their line up with a single booking agency, which wants to have as much bands as possible engaged. If a festival wants a big gun, they have to take the waterpistols as well.
Therfore wewere extremely pleased by the enthusiasm of those people in Toulouse and in England, who brought us to their countries. On the other hand it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a german organisation, helping us to cover some of the travel costs. WE’ll see how many times we can repeat trips like that.

Redstar73 Blog: I really like your Dub stuff like ‘River Style’ from the album ‘Ska is our business’. Why don’t you do a full Dub album?
Amedeo: I have put down all the dub cuts on all of our albums and of course I always had in mind to do a BLUEKILLA IN DUB album with either all the dubs we released and also some unreleased ones or doing a dub version of our BACK TO SKATALONIA album. I even have worked on such a version album but at the end you need someone to release this stuff and I never found someone who was interested. If I meet a dub infected Ska head in my life who wants to take that risk, there’ll be a Dr. Deadlock in Dub LP.

Redstar73 Blog: Any chance of a new album? Any other plans for the future?
Amedeo: Not at the moment. Everything is possible though.

Redstar73 Blog: Give us your Top5 Skasongs.
Amedeo: Besides my favourite Bluekilla songs? No particular order and ever changing:

Nightboat to Cairo (Madness)
Gangsters (The Specials)
Split Personality (Toots Hibbert & The Skatalites)
Big Six (Judge Dread)
Da kommt der Wahnsinn (Lila Sterila)

Redstar73 Blog: Where do you think ska is heading?
Amedeo: Where Rockabilly and other small and “unimportant” genres of the 60s 70s 80s youth culture is heading. As a vegetable in a warm and cosy niche.

Redstar73 Blog: Last words!
Amedeo: Think global but don’t forget to support your local Ska scene and breweries.

https://www.facebook.com/bluekillaofficial/
http://www.bluekilla.de/

Daniel Flores – Todo hombre es una isla Interview

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Redstar73 Blog: Please can you introduce yourself.
Daniel: My name is Daniel. For the last twenty years I’ve played keyboards and written tunes in Satelite Kingston, an old ska band from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve also played with a bunch of other people around the world. Put out a solo album called “Todo hombre es una isla”, through the always amazing Liquidator label. I’ve lived in Washington DC when I was young and I also make a living as a travel journalist. I’m the father of two little kids. They seem to like ska so far.

Redstar73 Blog: On bandcamp I found an album by Blancos Fáciles. You are listed as keyboard player. Is the band still active?
Daniel: That’s me also, yes. Blancos Fáciles is a band I like a lot. Different from Satelite Kingston, although in the ska, reggae, rocksteady field as well. A compact unit, no brass, more like a “rock band”. We haven’t been exactly active lately, but (funny) I just got a message from the guys to get back in the rehearsal room. That’s the latest.

Redstar73 Blog: You have published an interesting book, ‘La manera correcta de gritar’, about the history of the Ska scene in Buenos Aires. How did you get the idea to write about it? How was the feedback?
Daniel: That was a few years ago. It all started with a blog I have, satelitekingston.blogspirit.com. Back in 2006, Madness came to Buenos Aires first time ever. That generated a wave of “nostalgia” about the heydays of ska in Argentina during the 80s, a phenomenon that you could not find anywhere else in Latin America. Ska was HUGE here!

So, Madness comes to Buenos Aires and people, mostly old rude boys, come out of the shadows! And many of them start commenting in this blog of mine. And start telling stories. So I see something happening there and decide to get in touch with as many of these guys as I could. These are rude boys from an era even previous to Satelite Kingston, you know. And I start collecting their stories rather obsessively.

And then something else happens: I find out a lot of stuff about a certain Ronnie Montalban, an unknown Argentine singer who put out a ska vinyl record in the late sixities, which I truly recommend you hunting down as soon as you get a chance to. A total mystery, suddenly unveiled. I ended up meeting his widow, his son and some of his musicians from back then. That’s when I really had a story to tell: from this 60s oddity, to the chronicle of the 80s and 90s. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun, actually. The book is still available through its second edition. Look for it through the “Piloto de Tormenta” book label in facebook. After that, me and some other colleagues did a couple more books on odd stories from the punk and post punk scenes in Buenos Aires.

Redstar73 Blog: Please tell us more about Satélite Kingston. How many records have you done?
Daniel: We did six records. We’ve played a lot, really. Here, in Argentina, but also in Brazil (many times), Chile, Europe… We’ve been taking it a lot easier lately. We only do what we absolutely want to do. Most of the guys involved in the band happen to play in other (demanding) projects, have families… Myself, I travel quite a lot. It’s kind of hard to book many gigs. But we did manage to put out a new CD late last year: “Todo el tiempo”, with a little help from the kind and passionate people of Una Isla Club Records. I’m quite pleased with it, I must admit. We went for a different road: all in Spanish, almost no guest musicians, no cover versions. It’s more… us!

But right now we’re on that phase when what we do best is get together to eat and drink, you know. We laugh quite a lot whenever we’re around each other. And then someone pops the word “rehearsal” and everyone looks a bit uncomfortable and then we remember something funny and start laughing again. That’s kind of our little routine there. I’d say it’s perfect.

Redstar73 Blog: Back in 2012 you have released a solo album, Todo hombre es una isla. Could you tell us more about it.
Daniel: Great experience. I recorded ten tunes with a bunch of gifted musicians, not the same line up in two songs. Some Satelite Kingstonians, Victor Rice, Smooth Beans, some Crabs Corporation, Los Hamptons (check em out!!), Atsushi Ukito, J. Pezzimenti, and my good pal Jochi Descalzo, from Aggrotones and Gigantes Magnéticos and Kingston Factory.

Funnily enough, last year, the title track was used as the theme song for a big time TV series in Argentina! It’s called “Signos”, it’s about a serial killer, something that never ever crossed my mind when I wrote the song, of course! It was kind of a “Satelite Kingston out take”, kind of song I didn’t dare exposing to the band. Everyone in a band knows the feeling. But I knew I had to do something with it. So I recorded it with Atsushi Ukito, from Japan-New Zealand, whom I met through Chris Murray. It was so quick and unpretentious that Atsushi does not even remember he played on this thing. You can find the trailer in You Tube, it’s actually kind of funny to hear this deep bass reggae stuff along with this serial killer blood fest.

Redstar73 Blog: How is the Ska scene in Argentina at the moment?
Daniel: I think it’s healthy. Many bands. Many GOOD bands. I’m into it. Aggrotones, Gigantes Magnéticos (OMG, they just did an awesome record), Ska Beat City, The Crabs Corporation, Staya Staya, Los Hamptons, Sombrero Club, there’s so many good ones. I only wish there would be more audience for them, for everyone, which is not really the case. But I guess it’s the same thing everywhere, right? I was back in DC last month, went to a reggae party and it was ten of us! But I’m not complaining at all. I kind of got (and stayed) into this kind of music, this little ska world, because of its underground DNA. I love that, that’s also in me, would it be different I would be doing something else, I would not be comfortable nor interested.

Redstar73 Blog: What are your plans for the future?
Daniel:  Mmm, I hate talking about stuff I end up not doing. But… we should play a couple of gigs with Satelite later this year. I have to record some keys for Ska Beat City, otherwise they’d kill me. I think I might have a new book or something, almost finished, but I don’t know who might put it out. And many more things will come in the way, as always. I haven’t been bored in the last 25 years, believe me.

Redstar73 Blog: Last words!
Daniel: See you around!

Bandcamp
https://blancosfaciles.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/satelitekingston
https://www.facebook.com/blancosfacilesbanda

Buy Satelite Kingston CDs here:

Satélite Kingston – Algo Tiene Que Pasar CD
http://redstar73.com/tienda/satelite-kingston-algo-tiene-que-pasar-cd-p-137.html

Satélite Kingston – El Enemigo CD
http://redstar73.com/tienda/satelite-kingston-el-enemigo-cd-p-2575.html

Satélite Kingston – Mensajes CD
http://redstar73.com/tienda/satelite-kingston-mensajes-cd-p-136.html

Satélite Kingston – …Una Isla CD
http://redstar73.com/tienda/satelite-kingston-una-isla-cd-p-867.html

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