Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mika meets son of Lee Perry across the border

Received this CD single promo earlier this week and just finished enjoying listening to all 4 tracks. Mika joins the ranks of "girls/women in reggae" with a roots/dancehall fusion title track "Borderline." The dancehall part of this track features Omar Perry son of the legendary Lee 'scratch' Perry who interjects in a DJ style. Track 2 is an ambient haunting dedication style vocal entitled "To my sister." Tracks 3 & 4 are "Borderline remix and Borderline Dub." The work on this single is highly competent, topped off by the mixing skills of 'Gussie P'. Click here to go to the discography page of her website where you can listen to a sound sample of this single (click on the image).

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Pama International Review

I missed the start of the Goldmaster Allstars set which was a shame as it included the vocal offerings of their new protégé 'Charlie P'. Young Charles is the son of one of the members of Southend's pioneering sound system "Simba." Goldmaster were in full swing when I entered 93 feet east the small-ish stage just about accommodating the 12 man ensemble. The nicely balanced horn section was a treat to hear. Despite comprising only four of the original line up since my association with the band changed it was good to hear that the older songs still had the original Goldmaster flavour. Then reggae veteran GT Moore stepped up and the vibe immediately became more serious, two of the tunes 'africa' and an enchanting adaptation of the congoes 'fisherman' were notable for their brilliance and young Charlie P joined in on backing vocals.

Between Goldmaster and the Headline act 'Pama International', Trojan Sound System had a go at entertaining the sparse crowd. I would have expected a better attendance considering that quite a big push was given to make people aware of this gig. Personally I thought the DJ'ing was embarrassing (and there was no sound system in the real sense of the term) the DJ marginally improved when two sing jays and an MC mounted the stage with riders in hand to entertain the people. I didn't catch the names of the trio on stage but they were competent at their craft.

Pama International are described as 'dub fuelled, ska, rock steady and reggae.' The dub influence is there to experience and the six piece band wasted no time in firing straight into their energetic and big sounding musical menu. My ears kept getting seventies funky flavours and smatterings of late sixties psychedelia mixed heavily amongst the ska, rock steady and reggae beats. The charismatic vocalist holds your attention as he effortlessly flows through his set list. They were joined on stage in the later stages of their set by TJ CHILL of Afrika Bambaatas Zulu Nation fame. Catch them if/when you can - you won't be disappointed.

NB. Venue management - The lighting at the back corners of the stage would be much better if not directed into the eyes of the audience for sooooooo long!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Speed humps cause premature tyre failure - official

I have just had my car MOT test done. Only doing approx 6k miles per year because I choose to cycle to work most days. The examiner asked "do you go over a lot of speed humps?" I said I try to avoid them like the plague but my local authorities are making it impossible to avoid completely. He then pointed out very nasty wear on the inside edges (chamfers) of all four tyres. He said that he is seeing a massive increase in this problem and in his opinion it is all due to drivers straddling the speed humps which are described as "cushions" by some local councils. These are the square type humps with angled edges. He pointed out that one of my tyres is worn to a dangerous degree will have to be replaced due to this abnormal wear pattern even though the flat part i.e. circumference of the tyre is 2-3mm above the normal wear indicator. Worst case is that due to location of the wear (inner edges which are not in normal view) you might not realise you are wearing thin until a catastrophic failure or blow out occurs.

To try and reduce abnormal wear on your tyres don't straddle these type of humps - try to drive one wheel in between and one over the top part of the hump. Apart from that write to your local councillor / MP / and the Lft Hon Dictator Livingstone for a change of speed hump policy now!!!