London will host a May 3-6 ska festival in commemoration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. The event is scheduled for two venues — the Q2 Academy Islington and the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire.
According to the website, United Reggae.com, the festival will feature a mixture of veteran and new ska, rock steady and reggae performers from around the world.
The opening day is scheduled to take place at the Q2 Islington Academy and will feature Jackie Robinson and George Dekker from The Pioneers and singer Dawn Penn.
The Pioneers are best known for the song, Long Shot Kick The Bucket.
Penn began her career in the mid-1960s with producer Prince Buster. Her biggest hit song, You Don't Love Me (No, No, No), was recorded for Clement 'Coxson' Dodd later that decade.
Other performers include Belgium's The Moon, The Delegators from Britain and Spain's Kinky Coo Coo's.
Day two activities, at the same venue, will see performances from Jamaican singer Dandy Livingstone, a veteran of the British music scene, and Dave Barker, who had a massive British hit with Double Barrel, alongside keyboardist Ansell Collins in 1971.
The festival climaxes at the Q2 Academy with journeyman California band Fishbone and the Laurel Aitken's Original PressureTenants band, who will pay tribute to Aitken, the Jamaican ska singer who has a loyal following in Britain.
Ska emerged in Kingston during the early 1960s, but developed an underground fan base in Britain which had a growing Jamaican immigrant community.Songs like Millie Small's 1964 hit, My Boy Lollipop, topped British charts while Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan toured the country, playing to enthusiastic, mostly white audiences.
Source: The Jamaica Observer