Road to London International Ska Fest

London International Ska Festival 2012London. May. 2012. Will that be the center of the ska world as we know it? Well Los Angeles is my home so I might think otherwise. Right now we’ve got so many amazing Jamaican legends coming into town we’re almost a little Kingston. There is a different Reggae club every night here in LA from roots, ska, dub, dancehall – any style you like – we have it. We’ve had or will have Stranger Cole, Derrick Harriot, Monty Morris, Derrick Morgan, The Melodians, Errol Dunkley, Ken Parker and so many others play Los Angeles in less than a year. That said though London was where Blue Beat AKA Ska got it’s name from and where many Jamaicans settled in the 60’s so if it’s referred to as the center of the Ska world at any point who can argue. Jamaica hasn’t really been very supportive of it’s birthright musical style perse the most part over the last 30 years. Things are changing though as the island begins celebrations of it’s 50th year on independence.

But back to the topic I was discussing. After re-launching the fabulous London International Ska Fest last year with such acts as Ken Boothe, Dave & Ansel Collings, The English Beat & Marcia Griffiths and announcing almost immediately after it was over that it would return for 2012 it’s been interesting to see which acts would grace the stage this year. I was very lucky enough to go last year – it really came down to the last weekend before the big event that I was fortunate enough to have a mate come through for me BIG TIME (THANKS DAVE!). That experience was out of this world for sure. Seeing all those acts in London (hell just being in London for the first time) was such a great moment for me (FYI – Dave was supposed to go with me as 2 huge Ska freaks on a trip to London together but he could not make it at the last minute so I was solo!) that I didn’t think I could top it. Seeing the lineup that has been building for this year’s event thought might just do it. If I can make it back of course!

Just check out all who has been announced already: Dandy Livingstone (First Show in 40 years!), The Pioneers, Dave Barker, Rico Rodriguez, Dawn Penn, The Dualers, Neol Davies aka The Selecter, Ska Cubano, Fishbone, Hotknives (who pretty much stole the show last year!), Phoenix City All-stars, The Moon Invaders, Los Granadians and more not to mention all the DJ’s.

So will I make it back to London this year? Is it possible? Can it happen? Who can help? Stay tuned!!!

The festival goes down Thursday May 3 thru Sunday May 6 2012.

3 May – O2 Islington Academy, 16 Parkfield Street London, N1 0PS. (6pm-11pm)
The Pioneers | Dawn Penn | The Moon Invaders | Kinky Coo Coo’s | The Delegators | DJ Andy Smith

4 May – O2 Islington Academy, 16 Parkfield Street London, N1 0PS. (6pm-10pm)
Dandy Livingstone | Dave Barker | Rico Rodriguez | Phoenix City All-stars | Los Granadians | DJ Gladdy Wax

4 May – Islington Metalworks, 7 Torrens St, London, EC1V 1NQ (3 minutes from Islington O2 Academy & Angel tube station). . (10pm-6am)
Soul Jazz Records 100% Dynamite | Tighten Up v Downbeat Melody | Chris Lane | Tim Wells

Sat 5 May – O2 Sheperds Bush Empire, Sheperd’s Bush Green, London, W12 8TT. (6pm-11pm)
The Dualers (album launch party) | Ska Cubano | Hotknives (orig.line up) | Buster Shuffle | Capone & The Bullets plus more tba

Sun 6 May – O2 Islington Academy, 16 Parkfield Street London, N1 0PS . (5pm-10pm)
Fishbone | Neol Davies aka The Selecter | The Skints | Rebelation plus more tba

Visit the website for more information and tickets here.
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I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.