LAID BLAK at The Cellar

Having spent the summer rocking crowds at Boomtown, Shambala and Glastonbury, Laid Blak return to Skylarkin’ Oxford for an intimate show in their favourite basement. Born out of the 90s jungle scene in their native Bristol, over the past decade the Laid Blak project has grown into an acclaimed 8-piece band – winning awards left, right and centre for their incendiary live shows, which take in reggae, dancehall, hip hop and soul. They’ve had hits too – Red and Bristol Love have been played all over the radio and all over the world. Once experienced, NEVER forgotten! Get down early.

On the decks, Count Skylarkin is joined by Laid Blak’s own DJ Bunjy and MC Joe Peng, rocking the dance with big and bouncy reggae, dancehall, hip hop and drum & bass till the small hours.

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 24th November at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford OX1 3HZ
10pm-3am | Tickets | Facebook



The Cellar is saved – for now at least, we celebrate! Massive Attack‘s Daddy G returns to one of his “favourite venues in the UK”. Expect deep and dubby reggae, hip hop, soul, garage, d&b and block party gems that hark back to his 80s soundsystem days with the Wild Bunch and point to darker, bassier futures.

Supported by dancehall don Count Skylarkin (Trojan Records), turntable wizard DJ Binge (Dutty Moonshine) and hosted by MC Deemas J (Tru Thoughts).

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 27th October at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford OX1 3HZ
10pm-3am | Tickets | Facebook
£5 earlybird / £7 adv

Contrary to what you may have read in the media, The Cellar is still very much alive and kicking! Skylarkin’ Soundsystem have some fantastic acts lined up over the coming months, and our autumn season begins with one of the finest exponents of that vintage 60s/70s Jamaican sound – Intensified!

Playing authentic 60s-style ska, rocksteady and reggae, Intensified have acquired near legendary status across Europe over the past quarter of a century – providing backing to some of the most revered names in reggae – among them Dennis Alcapone, Pat Kelly, Dave Barker, Winston Francis and Prince Buster. In 2007 this led to the 10-piece performing alongside the late, great Alton Ellis at the Oxford Zodiac at a Skylarkin’ Soundsystem event that is still talked about to this day. Ten years on we’re bringing them back!
“Intensified are the best band in the UK” Alton Ellis

Count Skylarkin
Trojan Records remixer, gentleman and raconteur spins reggae, rocksteady, ska and calypso from the top, then dancehall, hip hop, jungle and anything else he can lay his mits on till the very last drop.

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Object to the landlord’s proposed redevelopment

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 29th September at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford OX1 3HZ
10pm-3am | Tickets | Facebook

£̶1̶0̶ ̶E̶a̶r̶l̶y̶b̶i̶r̶d̶ ̶T̶i̶c̶k̶e̶t̶s̶ ̶S̶O̶L̶D̶ ̶O̶U̶T̶
£12 Phase 1 Advance Tickets Selling Fast:

For over 35 years David Rodigan has been the top dog in the ganja-scented, bass heavy-atmosphere of Britain’s reggae dance-halls. The key to his success has been an unsinkable passion for reggae music, which first took a hold of him as a schoolboy when he heard ska music in the early ’60s, growing up in Kidlington, Oxford.

Since then the DJ has become a titan of UK broadcasting for his shows on Capital, Kiss FM and BBC Radio 1Xtra. He’s also clashed (and won) against the baddest sounds that the world has to offer….. The King of the Festivals, he has shutdown Common People, Glastonbury and Hideout, just to name a few!!

Tonight Rodigan returns to his home town, flanked by Count Skylarkin, Light Roots Sound, Back For Good, King Lloyd and some VERY special guests indeed.


Cowley Road Rockers proudly presents
DAVID RODIGAN & very special guests
Saturday 23rd September 2017 at The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1UE
11pm-late | Tickets | Facebook


One of Skylarkin’ Soundsystem’s favourite sons, renegade roots and dub producer Wrongtom returns to The Cellar after a lengthy absence with legendary breakbeat/jungle MCs The Ragga Twins – showcasing tracks from their acclaimed new LP. Wrongtom, Flinty Badman and Deman Rockers take you back to the ‘80s reggae and dancehall landscape where they started out. The album has received plays and praise from Toddla T (BBC R1), David Rodigan (BBC 1Xtra), John Kennedy (Radio X) & Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music), and the live show is incendiary. Support on the decks from Trojan Records turntablist Count Skylarkin. Don’t miss!

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday 28th July at The Cellar, Frewin Court, Oxford OX1 3HZ
10pm-3am | Tickets | Facebook

Laid Blak live | Don Letts (BBC6Music) | Count Skylarkin (Trojan Records) | Tony ‘Naked’ Nanton | more

With Reggae Xmas now firmly established at The Bullingdon after 20 years down the road at the ZO2diac, it felt like the right time to extend the festivities to Easter Sunday – with a live set from perennial favourites Laid Blak. Widely considered to be the best live dancehall act in the UK, the 7-piece were recently voted the best reggae band in northern Europe. In truth, their sound owes as much to their native Bristol as it does to Kingston, Jamaica, and it’s this that makes them such a vibrant, unique band.

On the decks, get ready for something really special – as BBC 6Music and Big Audio Dynamite‘s Don Letts joins Count Skylarkin to pay tribute to their friend, the late, great DJ Derek. Expect heard and unheard reggae, ska, soul, rhythm & blues and calypso direct from the legendary selector’s personal collection.

* * * * *

DJ Derek was a musical institution. His close friend and fellow DJ Count Skylarkin has spent the months since Derek’s funeral trawling through the great man’s legendary collection, and will be dipping into those famous Sweet Memory Sounds for an Easter Sunday Special.

Also on record-spinning duties is award-winning film-maker and broadcaster Don Letts. Credited as being the man who introduced the punks to reggae as resident DJ at The Roxy in 1976, the years since have seen The Don form Big Audio Dynamite with The Clash’s Mick Jones, pick up a Grammy for Westway To The World and collaborate with DJ Derek on the as-yet-unreleased portrait ‘Ring The Alarm’.

Playing live, Derek’s fellow Bristolians Laid Blak need no introduction. An acclaimed 7-piece live band featuring legendary west country mic-man Joe Peng and the record-cutting skills of DJ Bunjy, or as Derek knew him, “Young Ivor”.

“To say that Derek made the world a better place sounds trite but it’s true. You left your cynicism at the door when you went to see Derek play and you got back pure love instead. Music as a catalyst for joy and companionship. Music as a force for good. Bringing people together. For The Good Times. He was the antidote to an industry that strives to take itself too seriously – simple, straightforward, playing the music he loved, giving the people what they want to hear. I can’t wait to share these Sweet Memory Sounds on the Cowley Road, where Derek himself played for so many years.”
Count Skylarkin

Venue: The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1UE
Times: 10pm-4am
Tickets: £8 earlybird / £10 advance / £12 door