KING PRAWN – The Fabulous New Sounds Of King Prawn

If you were the kind of person that went to ska and punk gigs back in the late 90s, chances are you saw King Prawn. Chances are you saw the band a lot. There was a period when they seemed to support anyone and everyone. No matter how many times they appeared on a bill, though, they were always entertaining…and once seen, nobody could ever forget bassist Babar Luck’s distinctive presence.

The band split in 2003 but reformed nine years later without Luck. The idea of a King Prawn without him seemed odd at first, especially since he was such an integral part of the original band’s live show, but it was good to have them back. Showing off a more commercial side, King Prawn’s 2014 comeback single ‘Done Days’ was, in some ways, a lacklustre return to studio work, but five years on, the long-awaited full length ‘The Fabulous New Sounds of King Prawn’ is a marked improvement.

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maddie-ruthlessIt’s not often that New Orleans is associated with reggae sounds, but from from a city with a jazz climate and home to the brilliantly eccentric Dr. John Creaux comes Maddie Ruthless. She’s the self-proclaimed “rocksteady queen of New Orleans” and on this 2010 release, her voice and choice of material comes across with a supreme confidence, presenting a classic sound that could rival a few more established artists.

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UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey – Unplugged

ub40-unpluggedAt their best, the original eight man UB40 were an unstoppable band of brothers taking reggae music to every corner of the globe. With millions of record sales to their credit, it has been said that – save for Bob Marley – they were the genre’s most successful ambassadors. Some may knock 1983’s ‘Labour of Love’ as a lightweight covers record or middle class dinner party music, but it’s unlikely that those detractors have ever even heard Eric Donaldson’s version of ‘Cherry Oh Baby’ or Laurel Aitken’s ‘Guilty’, let alone Dandy Livingstone’s own ‘Version Girl’, so in many ways, in making a covers record, UB40 were making a more than valid musical point. Their 1980-89 catalogue is peerless. The many albums they released between 1991-2008 also have points of interest.

In 2008, the unthinkable happened: vocalist/guitarist Ali Campbell left the band. Keyboard player Mickey Virtue joined him. The six other band members were joined by vocalist Duncan Campbell and embarked on the next phase of their career. In 2013, the ever popular Astro jumped ship and joined Ali and Mickey in their musical endeavours, leaving behind what he dubbed “a rudderless ship”.

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Watch the brand new video from The Selecter

Legendary UK ska performers The Selecter have just unleashed a new video for ‘Walk The Walk’, a track taken from their brilliant 2015 LP ‘Subculture’.  Filmed in London, the clip features Pauline Black, ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson and an important guest cast.  The new single comes ahead of the bands November/December tour (full details below, along with the new video and full press release).

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THE SELECTER – Subculture

The_SelecterComing to prominence as part of the second wave of ska in the late 70s, The Selecter will seemingly always be best known for their early singles ‘Three Minute Hero’ and ‘On My Radio’ and their 1979 full length ‘Too Much Pressure’. As one of a dozen or so albums released on the 2-Tone label, it achieved instant cult status and sounds just as fresh decades after it was recorded. The years passed and The Selecter endured shifting line-ups but, during an on-off career, continued to make great music and never lost their edge with regard to live performance.

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