Commercial Communism: Thee Faction – Up the Workers album review

                    WHO said art and commerce don’t mix? What about communism and the music business? These questions don’t seem to bother Thee Faction, a half-theoretical, half-theatrical rock n’ roll outfit from Surrey who pedal socialist propaganda through the medium of rock n’ roll. Bizarre? This is just the beginning. Inspired by the miners’ strikes, they formed in the eighties before (allegedly) disappearing in an anti-capitalist haze behind the Iron Curtain, without ever releasing a single record (read: product). But with a Tory government butchering the NHS and slashing benefits their sudden … Continue reading Commercial Communism: Thee Faction – Up the Workers album review

Brave Busk: Five minutes with reality TV star Janie Price

  AS the star of a brand new reality TV show The Art of Survial, Janie Price had to busk from Athens to Edinburgh with just a cello in tow, as Rob Garratt found out. Janie Price is a cellist, singer and now reality TV star who hails south London. A professional musician for more than a decade, she is now receiving renewed attention for her starring role in The Art of Survival. The six-part show, which debuted on Sky Art on July 21, sees Janie paired with a painter Johan Andersson and tasked with busking from Greece to Scotland with … Continue reading Brave Busk: Five minutes with reality TV star Janie Price

All About the Up-Stroke: An interview with Skatronics founder, and Aswad alumunus, Clifton ‘Bigga’ Morrison

Featuring a towering cast of Brit reggae legends, Skatronics blend traditional Jamaican rhythms with jazzy improvisations and dub grooves. Rising from the ashes of the acclaimed Jazz Jamaica AllStars Big Band, the octet is lead by ex-Aswad keyboardist Clifton‘Bigga’ Morrison. The band uses a daring mix of technology and a full horn section to conjure thick grooves which update the timeless dance hall music for the 21st century. The list of previous collaborators solidifies the band’s credentials, with former Joss Stone and Art Blakey sideman Alan Weekes on guitar, fellow-Aswad alumni Kenrick Rowe on drums and Craig David backing bassist Don … Continue reading All About the Up-Stroke: An interview with Skatronics founder, and Aswad alumunus, Clifton ‘Bigga’ Morrison

Live Review: Meters’ drummer Zigaboo Modeliste’s only UK date

IF I was a drumming legend, when sourcing a site for my sole UK gig of the year Croydon might not be top of the list. As a member of funk pioneers The Meters, Zigaboo Modeliste is used to playing gritty New Orleans clubs – and stadiums supporting The Rolling Stones. But in a bizarre coup, there he was on stage, in a converted art gallery at Fairfield Halls. Kicking off with the unmistakable Cissy Strut, the grooves came thick and fast; Modeliste a whirlwind of power and technique, pounding away with the clout of a rocker and the control … Continue reading Live Review: Meters’ drummer Zigaboo Modeliste’s only UK date

Funky forefather: The Meters’ founder Zigaboo Modeliste on Keith Richards – and why a reunion isn’t on the cards

ALONGSIDE James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone, The Meters played an integral role in the genesis of funk music. Signed up as the house backing band to New Orleans’ label Sansu Enterprises, on a slow day in 1968 the band hit the studio to record an LP of gritty stripped-back, fat-packed instrumentals which changed the course of music for ever. A string of hit LPs and a decade later the group split, but today Meters’ grooves continue to infect the airwaves. Greedily plundered by the next generation of musicians, the quartet’s riffs have been widely sampled by the … Continue reading Funky forefather: The Meters’ founder Zigaboo Modeliste on Keith Richards – and why a reunion isn’t on the cards