SKA LEGEND Jerry Dammers
at Dr No’s
Edinburgh: The Bongo Club, Fri 8 Sep. Glasgow: Nice ’n’ Sleazy, Sun 10 Sep. Every club has its dream guest. Your Chicago house club promoter would mortgage their home to secure Derrick Carter, your hip hop promoter his life to book Africa Bambaataa and there really aren’t many things a ska devotee wouldn’t do or sell to have Two Tone legend Jerry Dammers spin a few of his favourite records down at their humble dance fest. Thankfully, the sweet talking Mary Doll, the girl responsible for Edinburgh’s sole ska soiree, Dr No's, happened to stumble upon a combination of geography and fortuitous circumstance.
’I met his manager down in London not knowing who he was,’
Mr Two Tone (centre with specs) in his heyday with The Specials.
explains Mary. ’We started chatting about my club and he said would you like Jerry Dammers to play and I was just like "Yeah, I wouldn’t mind".' The result of this rather fortunate coincidence was a booking for Dammers to play at Dr No's in June but due to unforeseen circumstances that date was postponed to September.
For those unfamiliar with the ska revival instigated by Two Tone records in the late 70$, Dammers was the main man pushing the buttons and making it happen for bands like Madness, The Beat and The Selecter. Born Gerald Dankin in 1954, the Coventry-based musician formed his own band, The Specials, with the distinctive Terry Hall on vocals in 1977 as both a tribute to and continuation of the original ska and rock steady movement of the late 605 and 705. Making an undeniable impact with their two seminal albums, it was arguably with ’Ghost Town’ in 1981 that The Specials managed to ‘capture the moment’ in pop, ably conveying the inner-city deprivation and violence of the
early Thatcher years.
Playing on coincidence as we are here, it just so happened that ’Ghost Town' was written by Dammers while travelling back from a gig in Glasgow. A very busy man, what with his continued production work in the studio and various DJing commitments, the mild- mannered musician did however have the time to talk briefly on this subject and his current DJ style.
’Yeah, the inspiration for Ghost Town was from Glasgow. I hope that doesn’t sound too bad but it was at the height of unemployment, so it was a bit run down.’ As for his DJing style these days, thankfully Dammers has moved with the times and describes his current interests saying, 'I like a lot of different music. I used to DJ jungle and hip hop but when 100% Dynamite started in London, I dug out all my old funk, rock steady and ska records. I want to emphasise that I am going to play a range of stuff because as you can imagine I do get asked to play a lot of Two Tone.’ (Catherine Bromley)
'1 I A The first of our label profiles shines a
light on Glasgow Underground's shoegazer Kevin McKay
58 THE “ST 7—21 Sep 2000
LABEL PROFILE Glasgow Underground Records
The Glasgow club scene isn’t just healthy thanks to some world-class clubs, there’s an increasrng number of local labels feeding the DJs West coast flavoured tracks. Since 1997, Glasgow Underground has given the city's best house producers a home.
’The label started because myself and Andy Carrick were releasing stuff on Musique Tropique,’ explains founder Kevin McKay, ’and | just kept meeting people who I wanted to work with like 16b, Harri and DJ Q, and most of them were based in and around Glasgow, so I wanted to showcase what people in the city were doing. The name Musrque Tropique was too synonymous with the music Andy and I did, so we started the label to begin again from scratch with different artists.’
As well as a battery of single releases from the aforementioned local artists, plus the likes of Romanthony from
further afield, Glasgow Underground is building a reputation for quality full- length releases, not least the three acclaimed compilation discs.
’The label compilations are always successful,’ says McKay, ’a lot of the time you forget that the best moments are on 125 and the only way to capture that for the average listener who doesn't DJ is on compilations. The latest one sort of shows where the label is going, with more diverse stuff like Neon Heights or Pascal & Mr. Day. I’d like to get more diverse as time goes on, with a side to the label that gives people intelligent popular music coming from a dance background, with the kind of artist that five or ten years ago might have been snapped up by a major who does song-based dance music with the listener in mind. Then there’s the mixed disc that showcases the sort of straight-up four-to-the-floor stuff we're known for.’ (Jack Mottram)
E3 G/asgow Underground Vol. 3 is out now and the next release, S/ow Burn/'n’, compiled by Kevin McKay is out on Mon 25 Sep.
Colin Barr, the chap behind The Tunnel, Bennets and Volcano to name but a few, is all set to embark on a new venture in Glasgow. Mas, a whopping 16,500 square feet of club space, will be completed in two phases, with two small areas opening soon and a big wharehousey joint joining them before the end of the year. Apparently, the emphasis is on incorporating acoustics and visuals in the building’s design and supplying the best sound system available. Needless to say, negotiations are in progress with some interesting residents. Watch this space for further details.
Glasgow weekends look set to get a bit of a boost thanks to Slam’s shot in the arm for Alaska. The club reopens on Fri 8 September. The monthly schedule is as follows: Weekly Friday is Relief with Lawrence Hughes and Silicone Soul, first Saturday of the month continues as Freelance Science, the second Saturday belongs to Percy X, the third features resident DJ Q and the fourth will be run by The Jengaheads.
Commemorating their 100th release with a monster, Soma are set to unleash a collaboration between Unkle (James Lavelle, below) and Slam (Stuart McMillan & Orde Meikle). This will be the first single from Slam’s forthcoming album (due out next year) and will be available to purchase at the end of October.
Meanwhile Soma will be celebrating their 100th release @ The End in London on Sat 9 September with the luminaries from Slam, Funk D’Void (live), H Foundation, Silicone Soul and many more. info available at wwwsomarecordscom
Scotland’s fastest growing radio station, Beat 106 have just launched ‘Club 106’, as part of their continued commitment to showcasing dance music. In response to research that has shown audiences want the dance experience all through the week, the station’s DJ Trevor Reilly will host his show Mon—Fri, 7—10pm which will aim to feature music from the international scene and also premiere new Scottish talent. Stevie Kerr’s Saturday night slot from 10pm onwards will now run from Mon—Thu.