Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rockers Revolt to Phoenix City

Sad news has reached us here at the Springline HQ that the UK label Rockers Revolt is winding down. We here have been strong supporters of the label run by Sean Flowerdew since 2008 and are very sorry to see its demise as they have brought out many great albums from the likes of his own band Pama Int’l plus the likes of Babyhead, Ed Rome, The Slackers, the fantastic Mungos Hi Fi and more, but as they say all good things must come to an end…..
However this does not mean it is all doom and gloom for the UK ska / reggae scene as just like a phoenix from the flames a new label is about to be launched aptly named Phoenix City Records!
Phoenix City will be a subsidiary one of the UK's longest running independents Cherry Red Records who were founded in 1978 and promises to offer the best in ska, rocksteady and reggae from classic reissues to the best new sounds around from acts around the world.
The label launches in August 2011 and will be run by Sean Flowerdew, and this is why, along with his other commitments to the London International Ska Festival etc Rockers is closing. It is hoped the August launch will see a series of previously unreleased digital releases from The Caroloregians, the original King Fatty featuring members from Big Boss Man, The Bongolian & The Loafers, Intensified, The Sidewalk Doctors, plus reissues from Pama International and Capone & The Bullets. There will also be the release of the first in a monthly series of samplers, titled 'Phoenix City Scorchers', showcasing some of the hottest ska, rocksteady & reggae sounds of now, with Volume One including previously unreleased material from Sir Horace Panter of The Specials, which all sounds very interesting and exciting.

At present the label are looking for new and established acts to sign, so if you think you or your band has what its got in the fields of ska, reggae, rocksteady, dub or even soul then send an email to with a mp3 or weblink to your music.

Also with the Rockers Revolt label being slowly wound up they are holding a closing down sale with prices starting from as little as prices starting at £0.01p, so visit while stocks last.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


For those of you that like getting out and letting your hair downhere are a few dates you might like to add to your diaries.

July 2011
02 Godiva Festival Coventry - Neol Davies aka The Selecter
08 London Extalgic Festival - Neol Davies aka The Selecter
16 Earagail Festival, Ireland - Neol Davies aka The Selecter
23 Livestock festival, Devon - Babyhead

August 2011
05 Oxford The Cellar - The Sidewalk Doctors & Skylarkin Sound System
06 Party In The Park, Galhampton - Babyhead
12 Boomtown Fayre - Babyhead
14 Endorset in Dorset festival - The Sidewalk Doctors
20 London Jazz Cafe - Babyhead
26 Rhythm festival - Maroon Town +more
26 Isle Of Wight - VFM Scooter rally - Ryde Ice Rink - The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra
27 Rhythm festival - The Sidewalk Doctors +more
28 Rhythm festival - Toots & The Maytals, Steve Cropper +more

September 2011
02 Off The Tracks Festival - Neol Davies aka The Selecter
03 Skabour Folkestone - The Sidewalk Doctors
09 Bestival, Isle Of Wight - Neol Davies aka The Selecter

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nitty Gritty - Rub-A-Dub A Kill You

This month is twentieth anniversary since Nitty Gritty was gunned down in his prime.
He was born Glen Augustus Holness in 1957, the second of eleven children to devoutly religious parents in the August Town district of Kingston, Jamaica.

His musical career started in the early 1970s when he was part of The Soulites, but it wasn’t until a decade later when in the early 1980s he recorded his first solo single with Sugar Minott handling production duties. From here he went on to the Zodiac sound system and recorded further singles working with George Phang before in 1985 moving on to Prince Jammy, who was soon to be elevated to King. With Jammy at the controls he scored what is probably his biggest hit at the first attempt with his reworking of a Jamaican folk song "Hog Inna Minty" riding on the Tempo riddim. The success of this track in turn gave rise to the classic album ‘Turbo Charged’ which was released the following year through Greensleeves and is regarded as one of the defining albums of the digital dancehall period. The album has stood the test of time well and Nitty Gritty’s voice still remains as distinct and unusual as it did then. Listening to him at time is a bit like taking a rollercoaster ride as his voice wildly undulates between deep baritones and rising to almost touch on a falsetto. The album of course features ‘Hog Inna Minty’ but some of the other great tracks you’ll find on the album include ‘Gimme Some Of Your Something’ on the Things and Time riddim, ‘Rub-A-Dub A Kill You' on Rockfort Rock and ‘Down In The Ghetto’ riding the Satta riddim. To complete a defining year for him he also appeared on the split LP ‘Musical Confrontation’ with fellow up and coming dancehall star King Kong.

Nitty then spent a brief time living in London before relocating to New York City, where he continued to record but less frequently though further albums followed with ‘General Penitentiary’ in 1987, ‘Nitty Gritty’ in 1988 and finally ‘Jah in the Family’ in 1989.

It was also in New York that on June 24th 1991 he was shot dead in front of Super Power Record Shop in Brooklyn at the age of 34. It is alleged that he was killed in a shootout with Super Cat but he was subsequently acquitted of the charges.Nitty Gritty, along with artists like King Kong, Tenor Saw and Anthony Red Rose was way ahead of the pack in the mid to late 80’s and for a short time was almost untouchable in the dancehall arena as he dominated on top of some of the best the digital riddims coming out of Jamaica.