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Tag: Ska

Strange Tenants

Formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1981, by brothers Bruce and Ian Hearn, Strange Tenants are widely recognised as the Godfathers of Australian Ska. The originality of their songs transcended this usual genre, with first-class musicianship and...

Ska

In the early 1960s, Jamaican producers such as Leslie Kong, Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd and Duke Reid created a new sound to replace American R&B acts. The new sound drew on R&B, rock & roll, swing,...

Selecter, The

The Selecter are often considered 2 Tone's 'also ran's' behind The Specials. They were a top live draw in their own right, though, and their 1980 album Too Much Pressure was full of sharp, organ-heavy ska pop such as Three Minute Hero and On...

No Nonsense

No Nonsense began as a gang of mates hanging out together from Oak Park High School in the western suburbs of Melbourne (Australia). At the time, Ska meant dancing and comradeship, and their first shows were...

Laurel Aitken

Having relocated from Jamaica to Brixton at the start of the 1960s, it was pretty much right-time-right-place for Cuban-born ska legend, Laurel Aitken, as ska began filtering into London clubs and dancehalls. His album After Midnight brought together earlier singles...

Judge Dread

As a former bouncer at Brixton's Ram Jam club, Alexander Hughes met Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan. As a debt collector for Trojan Records, he got to know the harsh realities of the music business. Undeterred, as...

Tigers, The

The Tigers were a British ska band comprising singer/guitarist Tony Jacks, guitarist Ross McGeeney (Jacks' one-time partner in Starry-Eyed & Laughing), bassist Nic Potter (ex-Van Der Graaf Generator), keyboard player Nick Cola, and drummer Pete Dobson (formerly...

Trojan Records

Known worldwide as the reggae label, Trojan started in 1967 as an offshoot to Island Records, set up to issue the Jamaican productions of Arthur "Duke" Reid. The name 'Trojan' came from Duke's British-built pick-up...

Madness

Madness were at the forefront of the UK ska revival at the end of the 70s. They ultimately shed the 2 Tone image and became one of the most consistent UK chart groups of the Eighties. They were a...

Belle Stars, The

London's Belle Stars came together in 1981 from the ashes of 2 Tone act, The Bodysnatchers when it was Rhoda Dakar, not Jennie McKeown fronting the band. They couldn't really play, but they had a single - a hit...

Beat, The (UK)

Ska revivalists The Beat were formed in Handsworth (a racially mixed area of Birmingham immortalised by reggae band Steel Pulse with their Handsworth Revolution album) in 1978 in the aftermath of punk. Early pub gigs garnered...

Untouchables, The

Before California was swamped by a glut of ska-punk, The Untouchables ruled the roost. Emerging from Los Angeles suburb Silver Lake in 1981, they covered tracks by The Specials and gave proof that 2-Tone's values could travel the world. The black...

Desmond Dekker

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Dekker (real name Desmond Dacres) was orphaned as a child. He lived in Seaforth, St Thomas, before returning to his birthplace to work as a welder. He then turned to...

Ska Revival

September 1979. England. The Prince by Madness had entered the British charts on 1 September. The Specials (pictured above) were riding high in the Top Ten with Gangsters. Those hot, hot summer holidays were over and the...

2 Tone

The independent 2 Tone Records label was founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials in 1979. Dedicated to dance-floor music performed by racially mixed bands, the label released The Special's own Gangsters in 1979. Signing an...

Specials, The/Special AKA

Though short-lived, The Specials Mk I were punk's multi-racial idealism made flesh. The group came together almost by osmosis, gathering together the remnants of several Coventry punk, soul and reggae outfits. Chief instigator, songwriter, designer and...

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