As an opener to Black History month we’re here for an event called “Rum ‘n’ Bass”, a night of music and Caribbean food provided by Brighton takeaway “Cummin Up”. Brighton has a long standing (but little documented) tradition of people from India and the Caribbean settling here at various times in its history, so their contributions are always worth celebrating. Special mention must go to Bert Williams M.B.E, who has put together the Brighton Black History site to preserve this information.
First act on tonight is prolific producer and Brighton resident Prince Fatty, with Horseman on vocal duties. Recording from his nearby Ironworks studio, Prince Fatty has worked with Hollie Cook, Little Roy and The Skints, as well as releasing his own music on the Mr. Bongo label (run by Brighton resident Dave Buttle). His set is a great mixture of classic 70’s reggae and his own take on the rootsier side of the music from that period. Horseman is a great front man for this set up, whether acting as dee jay (mc), singing or chatting double time in his trademark bass rumble he’s an energetic performer who gets the crowd moving.
His cover versions of “Baby I want your money” by Kelis, “Shimmy shimmy yeah” by ODB, “Insane in the brain” by Cypress Hill and Max Romeos’ “Chase the devil” all go down really well, but my personal favourite is still his classic “Horsemove” from 1988. All in all a great set, if you get the chance try and catch Prince Fatty, Horseman and Hollie Cook as they play fairly frequently.
Dennis Bovell has been in bands since 1970 and was one of the architects of the musical genre Lovers Rock, the distinctive UK contribution to Reggae. His band is made up of a drummer and two keyboard players, with Bovell playing bass. The keyboards also play guitar and horn melodies so there is actually quite a full sound to the band. Bovell also sings, but could do with stepping back from the microphone when he shouts as his voice is extremely loud in that barking headmaster kind of way. 🙂
It’s a great band who play an enjoyable set with lots of deep bass lines and great rhythms. He sings the Lovers classic “Caught you in a lie” and plays a tune from “Babylon”, the 1980 film for which he wrote the score. His set involves him taking us through his musical career via plenty of anecdotes, it keeps the crowd entertained and dancing and there’s a good vibe throughout the night. Great to hear some bass heavy reggae in a music venue. A fantastic start to a month of Black History celebrations and a recognition of year round contributions from Black communities everywhere.