heard on the wire

Day 21 — a song I listen to when happy

Grilled peppers

Sun shining, food on the barbecue, beer in hand and reggae on the stereo—it’s almost the epitome of happiness.

It’s a funny thing, reggae, religious music that isn’t rubbish. Of course not all reggae is religious, but for every song attacking racism and poverty, another will be praising an Abyssinian feudal monarch seen by some rastafarians as the second coming of christ, some as god himself. Clearly it’s bonkers, a religion whose sole purpose seems to be providing its acolytes with an excuse to smoke bucketfuls of marijuana. Did I say bonkers‽

I guess when most people think of reggae, they think of Bob Marley and Jamaica. But for me the best reggae came out of seventies Britain, energised by the first generations of black youth born following the waves of immigration in the fifties and sixties and by the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism and the fight against the National Front.

Today’s choice could have come from West London’s Aswad, before they went mainstream and had a UK number one, from near neighbours Misty in Roots, still the best live band I have ever seen, or from Birmingham’s Steel Pulse.

But instead we travel north to Nottingham for this wedge of red, gold and green rastafari nonsense. But what a tune.

The Natural Ites and the Realistics :: Picture on the Wall

Audio MP3


Updated: Friday 7 June, 2013
Photo: Grilled peppers; some rights reserved

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