On 19 December, 2009 I was at a reasonably-sized nightclub which was going to be playing host to an iconic Jamaican vintage rock steady, ska, reggae star Owen Grey. The evening was poised to be a big do. We were there early so we waited on the premises – actually inside the club itself. We came up a flight of stairs to a rather sad looking door but once through the doors there is a huge room with a small sort of bar, a place for turn table, a dance floor and an eclectic collection of musical equipment. The lights were dimmed as one would expect in a nightclub. To be honest, this is the third time I’ve been in a nightclub in London in almost 6 years here. I guess nightclubs don’t appeal to me much these days.
The main reason why we were there was to see Sir Tropical Downbeat. This 50-something avid vintage music collector and compiler over some thirty years is none other than Sir Tropical Downbeat aka Lionel Young. Hailing from Yorkshire in the north of England, the man never forgot his musical roots and love of Jamaican rock-steady, ska and reggae music. These are what I would call Jamaican Vintage Gems. Sir TD has collected over dozens of records some first day editions and some are quite rare.
Vintage is his middle name, collecting is his passion. That is Sir Tropical Downbeat aka Lionel Young. Collector and Compiler extraordinaire of vintage Jamaican rock steady, ska and reggae music.
For lovers of ska, reggae and all music Jamaican, this has to be the gig of the year. Sir Tropical Downbeat brings to you the beautiful awesome sounds of yester years. The same Jamaica that gave the world Bob Marley is the same Jamaica that gave us a great evolution of rhythms that have changed the musical landscape.
These revolutionary musical rhythms have given all of us a choice of musical styles and has influenced everyone from Europe to Africa, and the Americas to the Pacific Islands. Turn the radio on anytime and you can be sure there will be a rhythmic song that has the flavour of Jamaica – yah man!
This is a sample of the story of Jamaican music…enjoy.
This Saturday’s (19 December, 2009) gig is called ‘Musical Fever – The Sound of Vintage Jamaica’. It is a Christmas Special and will be featuring, now wait for this, a live appearance by the pioneer artist Owen Gray backed with a full band plus Sir Tropical Downbeat aka Lionel Young of Solid Gold From The Vaults fame.
Follow this link for photos of Sir Tropical Downbeat: