Pic by Dom Fleming domflemingphotography.blogspot.com

“My eyes are RED!” Return of the Bristol heavyweights for a special intimate show. Laid Blak have rocked audiences in Oxford and around the UK at every festival worth its salt so many times that they need no introduction. There are just 50 advance tickets onsale – after that it’s first come, first served on the door. Don’t be late! Plus Laid Blak’s own DJ Bunjy and MC Joe Peng join Count Skylarkin on the decks, spinning big and bouncy reggae, dancehall, hip hop and drum & bass till the small hours.

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 4th April at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford
10pm-3am | £5 advance/£6 door

Spring into summer with the best sounds in town.

The first-ever signings to Skylarkin’ Recordings, Mighty Leap make a welcome return to Oxford, having supported Susan Cadogan at the O2 Academy last year. Featuring the jaw-dropping vocals of Bermudian singer Desta Zion Wilson, Mighty Leap deal in deep basslines, soulful melodies, sweet harmonies and a liberal squeeze of dancehall magic. With their debut 7″ ‘Everywhere’ just about to drop and numerous festival appearances and collaborations with the likes of Wrongtom and The Ragga Twins in the pipeline, if you haven’t fallen in love with this band already then tonight’s your chance.

Reared on a tasty diet of Aswad, The Specials and King Tubby, 90s hip hop, plenty of jungle and hi-life rhythms, Mr Benn’s waist-winding, bassbin-bothering productions and DJ sets have earned him a loyal following, global gigs, collaborations with the likes of Massive Attack’s Daddy G (whom he plays alongside as part of DJ collective, Bristol Hi-Fi) and legendary UK rapper Blak Twang, and a whole host of remix honours including Horace Andy, Cutty Ranks, Monkey Mafia, Dreadsquad and Joe Driscoll.

Reared on a stodgy diet of pigs arse, green cabbage and floury spuds, Count Skylarkin escaped his native Galway in the mid-80s for the culture clash of South London and has been peddling his own particular take on the golden age of bass ever since, usually helpfully washed down with a large splash of Wray & Nephews. Spinning reggae, roots and rocksteady early doors and rum-fuelled bangers till the lights come on.


Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 4th April at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford
10pm-3am | £5 advance/£6 door
Facebook event


It’s that time again! Every Easter we revisit the erstwhile home of Skylarkin’ Soundsystem’s weekly Thursday shindigs for one night only. Featuring as many of the DJs and players who graced our turntables in that time as we can possibly fit into The Library’s intimate confines, playing a handful of tunes each, on the best Thursday of the year – HOLY THURSDAY!

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem ran at The Brickworks (as it was then known) every Thursday for six years between 2002 and 2008, during which time the night grew from informal, genre-hopping weekly socials to standing room only, roadblock affairs – with the great and good of the national reggae, funk and hip-hop circuits occasionally dropping by to hold the mic or spin tunes – cheeky midweek pints frequently spilling over into riotous afterparties at The Zodiac.

A long time ago now, however for one night only it’s as if the last six years never happened, The Polar Bear is still selling records and the Carling Academy was just a bad dream you had after one too many Budvars. Best of all, you’ve got Friday off work to recover.

April 17th at The Library
8pm-1am / free / facebook event

photo: Dave Swindells

Ahead of their forthcoming appearance in the desert, Count Skylarkin and Ska Cubano’s Natty Bo shared a few of their favourite tunes from the Sweet Memory Sounds sessions for Time Out Dubai. But fear not – if you can’t catch the pair DJing at the Dusk Terrace next Friday, they will be flying straight back to spin killer vinyl selections at Notting Hill Arts Club the day after.


Bristol’s bashment breakbeat heroes, as seen tearing up the main stage at Outlook Festival, make their long-awaited Skylarkin’ debut. Fronted by the reggae siren Eva Lazarus, the 7-piece have taken their floor-pounding blend of drum & bass, dancehall, dubstep, breakbeat and world music all over the globe, from Asia to Scandinavia, amassing over 1,000,000 youtube hits along the way. Do not miss!

A perennial Skylarkin’ favourite over the past decade, South London producer, remixer and dancefloor destroyer has had an amazing past few years – earning rave reviews for his collaboration LPs with Roots Manuva and Deemas J and one of Mojo Magazine’s Singles of the Year for his summer 2013 smash ‘Oystah Card’ with Mark Professor. Spinning reggae and big bass till the small hours.

Reggae specialist, Rocksteady afficionado and Rum connoisseur, Count Skylarkin takes you on a journey through rare and classic ska, calypso and rhythm & blues right up to jungle, dubstep and dancehall.


Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 7th March at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford
10pm-3am | £5 advance/£6 door
Facebook event

SMS Logo Text OnlyStars of West London’s much-loved Sweet Memory Sounds at Notting Hill Arts Club, Count Skylarkin and Ska Cubano’s Natty Bo are bringing their wild and crazy vintage rhythms to Dubai for the first time. From swing and be-bop through jazz, jump-blues, northern soul, heavy funk, cumbia, calypso, boogaloo, gospel, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall and even jungle; if they can get it on the plane then you’re gonna get it on the floor. All vinyl, all night. All killer, no filler!
SMS Logo Skylarkin Natty
Natty Bo is a record collector, disc jockey, dancer, bandleader, vintage fashion icon and singer of Ska Cubano, The Top Cats and The Flames Of Rhythm. He also spins the best sounds in London town, having honed his craft across three decades at the legendary Soho weekly Gaz’s Rocking Blues and countless clubs, festivals, house parties and late-night shebeens.

Count Skylarkin has been exciting dancefloors since the mid-nineties, starting off in South London before taking his rarefied rhythms all over the world – working with legendary Jamaican acts such as The Wailers (UK tour DJ), Toots & The Maytals, The Skatalites, The Specials, Lee Scratch Perry, Max Romeo and countless others along the way – not to mention spreading the gospel of black dance music via the airwaves and the pages of NME, Knowledge, Jockey Slut and The Spectator.

21/03/2014 at Dusk Terrace, Radisson Blu Hotel, Media City, Dubai – details and tickets
22/03/2014 at Notting Hill Arts Club, London – details and tickets

Ska Cubano frontman Natty Bo and Count Skylarkin are proud and delighted to be taking on record spinning duties in 2014 alongside longtime resident Mylon D at Sweet Memory Sounds, the Saturday night party at Notting Hill Arts Club made famous by DJ Derek. Expect the wildest and craziest vintage rhythms from swing and be-bop through jump-blues, calypso, ska, soul, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall and more, at West London’s best-loved musical bunker.

Saturday February 22nd 2014
8pm-2am, £6 before 10pm, £8 after


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