Musical Roots: Ska!

Musical Roots: Ska!

When it comes to the music we represent at Boomtown, perhaps none is more significant than Ska.

From the original 60s Jamaican artists such as Toots & The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff and The Skatalites that have played here, who took American Rhythm & Blues music and created their own take on it, or Freddie Notes who was one of the first Jamaican artists to bring Ska to the UK when he moved here in 1964, influencing not just the Caribbean communities but the Mods and eventually the whole country as the likes of Millie Small, who sadly passed away last month, hit the UK Top 10.

Ska would also of course influence the Punks here towards the end of the 70s, creating a revival movement that many know as 2Tone due to the record label who signed artists such as The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and Rhoda Dhakar, all of whom have performed with us over the years.

But the influence of those original Caribbean artists didn’t stop there, from The Bunker to Hangar 161 and the Third Wave American Ska artists who have performed on Town Centre such as Fishbone, The Hepcats, Mad Caddies, Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish, it has been sewn into the fabric of Boomtown since the very beginning.

Then of course you had the Sound Systems, that sprung up to carry the music to the people. Without the likes of Ska selectors like Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd, and Duke Reid, there would not be the same sound system culture that we know and love today. I don’t think any of us could imagine Boomtown without that.

In Jamaica, Ska eventually grew into Reggae but that’s a whole other story to tell.

This is the first in a new series... stay tuned for more! 🎶

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