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With Skylarkin’ Soundsystem‘s Oxford operation now into its 15th year, I’ve been busy bringing back some names that have played a significant role to the clubnight since the first sessions at EOCC back in 2000. Ska favourites Intensified put on a wild, uproarious show for February’s installment, and for March I’ve booked Massive Attack‘s Daddy G – a terrific friend and supporter of the night since he first played The Zodiac for me in 2005. Grant completely bossed it for us in Brixton last Friday, and can’t wait to DJ on The Cellar’s legendary soundsystem for the first time. £5 earlybird tickets already selling fast!

Daddy G
There’s not much one can say about this loping, softly-spoken musical behemoth that is Grant Marshall that hasn’t been uttered already in the many fawning plaudits that have peppered his lengthy career as a DJ, producer, performer and Tall One Out Of Massive Attack. His contribution to the Bristol collective has resulted in some of the most soulful, edgy and uplifting records that this country has produced in the past 25 years – from Unfinished Sympathy and Hymn Of The Big Wheel right up to recent collaborations with the likes of Terry Callier, Mos Def and Snoop Dogg.

Like his band, Daddy G’s DJ sets eschew time and trend to hit the mark on every occasion – as highlighted on his excellent DJ Kicks mix for K7. Expect to hear deep and dubby reggae, hip hop, soul, garage, drum & bass and block party gems that hark back to his 80s soundsystem days with the Wild Bunch.

Count Skylarkin & MC Deemas j (Tru Thoughts)
Trojan selector, Wailers warm-up and purveyor of the best beats in the business. Co-creator of the world-famous Disco Shed, curator of Skylarkin’ Soundsystem and The BIG TEN INCH. Crate-digger. Luddite. Party starter. Story-teller. Maniac. Accompanied on the mic by Tru Thoughts live-wire mic-man (and 90s rave scene legend) Deemas J.

“Rhythm and blues meets rocksteady, calls round for ska and rock and roll to see if they’re playing out before heading round to drum ‘n’ bass’s place for a party right out of the top drawer” www.bigchill.net

Count Skylarkin's Trojan Summer 2014 Selection by Count Skylarkin on Mixcloud


Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday March 6th 2015 at The Cellar, Oxford
10pm-3am | £5 earlybird/£6 advance/£7 door
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Sweet Memory Sounds settles in for a Saturday night love-in at Notting Hill Arts Club with resident DJ, dapper dan and raconteur Count Skylarkin and VERY special guest – acclaimed producer, disc-jockey, Tru Thoughts recording artist and tea-drinker Wrongtom.

Best-known for his groundbreaking work with Roots Manuva, Deemas j, Ragga Twins and (whisper it) Hard-Fi, Wrongtom’s DJ sets have been described as “a bastion of the unexpected”, that could include anything from reggae, ska, dancehall, funk and jump blues to hip hop, disco and dub to bhangra and sea shanties. We’re very excited to be welcoming the South Londoner to Sweet Memory Sounds for the first time!

The Count throws in his inimitable mix of rare and rarefied vinyl nuggets from Kingston to New Orleans via Brixton and Bogota, and being Valentines Day there’s sure to be a lot of original lovers rock classics for good measure. Arrive early!

Saturday February 14th 2015 at Notting Hill Arts Club
www.nottinghillartsclub.com
8pm-2am, £6 before 10pm, £8 after

 

To mark Bob Marley’s 70th birthday, Count Skylarkin was asked by The Vinyl Factory to talk about his all-time favourite Wailers classic.

SkylarkinIn a career spanning three decades, “The Count” has worked with a host of legendary acts in the world of reggae including The Skatalites, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Toots & The Maytals, Alton Ellis and Max Romeo. He played alongside The Wailers as a warm-up DJ for their UK tours, an experience he shares below.


R-3622542-1337753809-1429.jpeg-1Bob Marley, The Wailers & The  Soul Brothers Orchestra
‘I’m Still Waiting’ from Ska Jerk
(Studio One, 1965)

Listen / Buy

Bob, Peter and Bunny recorded at Studio One in 1965, Marley would have been 18 or 19 when he wrote the lyric. Though The Skatalites will have been on backing duties, the track has a shuffling, after-midnight feel – quite out of step with the ska sound prevalent at the time. Bob’s hushed tenor takes the lead but Bunny and Peter’s harmonies are equally important to the composition. Perhaps that’s why the Island-era Marley never re-recorded the tune, preferring instead to leave this slice of callow perfection alone and update the theme for his worldwide smash ‘Waiting In Vain’ on the Exodus LP.

I can remember dropping ‘I’m Still Waiting’ in the middle of a fairly heavy-duty roots and dub selection at one of my first ever DJ gigs; the crowd was fairly Rasta-heavy but they all went crazy for it. It was probably my first-ever rewind! I’ve never been afraid to throw something unexpected into a mix since (for better or worse!). Years later when I toured with the current Wailers line-up as warm-up DJ I couldn’t play any songs or rhythms that they might include in their live set, so I’d often drop Delroy Wilson’s mid-70s cover version to just before the band would come on – much to the delight of Family Man Barrett, who’d be swaying in the wings wearing a massive smile.

“Intensified are the best band in the UK” Alton Ellis
“Bam Bam Sound are the Ant & Dec of reggae” DJ Derek

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. Eight years on we’re bringing them back!

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.

Bam Bam Sound
A welcome return to Oxford for these two wannabe rude boys, also known as Duck and Johnny Clash. Residents at The Big Chill Bar, London since its birth, the pair serve up a tropical heatwave of dancehall, bashment, soca, trap, d&b and garage that’s so hot it’s got malaria.

Bam Bam Sound Podcast #34 - I'm Saying You're My Mum by Bam_Bam_Sound on Mixcloud

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday February 6th 2015 at The Cellar, Oxford
9pm-3am | £5 advance/£6 door (£5 EDMS)
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Skylarkin’ Soundsystem returns to The Prince  of Wales after the festive break on Feb 13th, welcoming to headline the legendary Daddy G of Massive Attack fame.

Daddy G
There’s not much one can say about this loping, deep-voiced musical behemoth that is Grant Marshall that hasn’t been uttered already in the many fawning plaudits that have peppered his lengthy career as a DJ, producer, performer and Tall One Out Of Massive Attack. His contribution to the Bristol collective has resulted in some of the most soulful, edgy and uplifting records that this country has produced in the past 20 years – from Unfinished Sympathy and Hymn Of The Big Wheel right up to recent collaborations with the likes of Terry Callier, Mos Def and Snoop Dogg.

Like his band, Daddy G’s DJ sets eschew time and trend to hit the mark on every occasion – as highlighted on his excellent DJ Kicks mix for K7. Expect to hear deep and dubby reggae, hip hop, soul, garage, drum & bass and block party gems that hark back to his 80s soundsystem days with the Wild Bunch.
http://www.dj-kicks.com/daddy-g-dj-kicks

Count Skylarkin & MC Deemas J
Irish born and London raised, Count Skylarkin mixes reggae with soul, ska, dancehall, dubstep, jump blues, jungle and anything else he likes the sound of, to devastating effect. The Count’s passion for classic Jamaican sounds has led to him tour DJing for The Wailers and sharing stages with The Specials, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Toots & The Maytals, The Skatalites, Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Max Romeo, Dawn Penn, Mad Professor, Andrew Weatherall, Don Letts, Jerry Dammers, Trojan Soundsystem, Benga, DJ Yoda, Alex Paterson (The Orb), Mr Hudson, Massive Attack’s Daddy G and Horace Andy among many others. Accompanied on the mic by Tru Thoughts live-wire mic-man (and 90s rave scene legend) Deemas J.

“Rhythm and blues meets rocksteady, calls round for ska and rock and roll to see if they’re playing out before heading round to drum ‘n’ bass’s place for a party right out of the top drawer” www.bigchill.net

Bam Bam Sound
First time at the new Prince of Wales for these two wannabe rude boys, also known as Duck and Johnny Clash. Residents at The Big Chill Bar, London since its birth, the pair serve up a tropical heatwave of dancehall, bashment, soca, trap, d&b and garage that’s so hot it’s got malaria.

Bam Bam Sound Podcast #34 - I'm Saying You're My Mum by Bam_Bam_Sound on Mixcloud


“Bam Bam Sound are the Ant & Dec of reggae” DJ Derek

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
Friday February 13th 2015
at The Prince of Wales, 467- 469 Brixton Road, London SW9 8HH
Tickets | Facebook

Count Skylarkin and Natty Bo spin reggae, ska, soul, r&b, calypso, latin, dancehall and jungle dynamite at West London’s best-loved musical bunker. From the 1940s to the present day – from Kingston to New Orleans via Brixton and Bogota – from swing and be-bop through jazz, jump-blues, northern soul, heavy funk, cumbia, calypso, boogaloo, gospel, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall and even jungle, your selectors journey through rare and classic vinyl nuggets from the golden age of bass.

Natty Bo is a record collector, DJ, dancer, bandleader and singer of Ska Cubano, The TOP CATS SKA, Yiddish Twist Orchestra and of course Natty Congeroo & the Flames of Rhythm. He also spins the best sounds in town, having honed his craft over the past three decades at Gaz’s Rocking Blues and countless other festivals, clubs, house parties and late-night shebeens.

From compiling TDK D90s in the early 90s to touring with The Wailers, remixing for Trojan Records and performing in front of thousands at festivals all around the world, Count Skylarkin has been making people dance for the past 20 years, stages, decks and rum with such musical luminaries as The Wailers (UK Tour DJ), The Specials, Toots & The Maytals, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Skatalites, Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Max Romeo, Susan Cadogan, Mad Professor, David Rodigan, DJ Derek and Massive Attack’s Daddy G and Horace Andy.

Saturday January 10th 2015 at Notting Hill Arts Club
www.nottinghillartsclub.com
8pm-2am, £6 before 10pm, £8 after

Temple Funk Collective | Del Gazeebo | Count Skylarkin | Deemas j | more

It may be winter but the 2014 festival season was just too good to be forgotten, so for NYE Count Skylarkin assembles some of the highlights of his misspent summer.

Ringing in the midnight chimes, OX4’s own Temple Funk Collective brought the house down at Bestival – a New Orleans-style 8-piece brass band riot, taking their lead from the Louisiana legends and adding gypsy, jungle and hip hop.

Disco Shed promo mix Summer 2013 by Del Gazeebo on Mixcloud


On the decks, Disco Shed favourite Del Gazeebo serves up the waist-winding, bassbin-bothering bashment boogie that shook the trees at Shambala and Latitude. Twisting up the classics like no-one else can, the Brightonian is the man behind the trailblazing Soundly Beaten & No Identity cut & paste imprints. Del brings the party every time.

Trojan Records remixer Count Skylarkin revisits the sounds that got Chinatown bouncing at Boomtown and filled the floor at Standon Calling‘s Favela. Expect new and vintage reggae, rocksteady, Jamaican ska, hot swing, jump blues, dancehall, hip hop and jungle vinyl, turntablism, pork-pie hats, dapper suits and guaranteed good times.

Tru Thoughts live-wire mic-man Deemas J completes the pack. These days best-known for his critically-acclaimed LP ‘Wrongtom Meets Deemas J in East London‘, the fast-chatting vocalist originally from Clarendon, Jamaica is also a legend of the 90s rave and jungle scene, who has held down residencies at the Hackney Labyrinth and all over Europe in his time.


DRESS LIKE YOU’RE AT A FESTIVAL!
We want to see stupid hats, hemp hoodies, wellies, stockings, suspenders and those strange banana onesies.
_________________________________

Skylarkin’ Soundsystem
New Year’s Eve at The Cellar, Frewin Court OX1 3HZ
TICKETS | £5 earlybird / £10 advance / £10 door (in fancy dress) / £12 otherwise
10pm-4am #bringingfestieback
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