Two years ago, Italians from The Magnetics played their first concert in Poland, at the second edition of the Gdańsk Ska Jamboree festival. They liked it so much that they decided to come back. Tomorrow, we’ll have a chance to check how their sound has changed over the last 3 years. And as an appetizer before the gig, we recommend the transcript of a conversation we had in 2018 with the vocalist and founder of the group, Olly Riva.
The last two years went by with hardly any concerts and festivals. There have been very few ska related music events in Poland, and travelling abroad has been difficult. But there is light at the end of the tunnel – the fourth edition of Gdańsk Ska Jamboree.
Nobody planned this conversation. I certainly didn’t, and the guys from The Aggrolites didn’t expect it either. Sometimes, however, fate knows better what RudeMaker readers need. After the dirty reggae legends’ show in Cottbus in November 2019, it decided that they had to read about “Reggae Now!”, marinating records and the best skinhead reggae in the world.
It was a very hot edition of the Freedom Sounds Festival, still at Gebäude 9. The organizers opened all the doors, but during the shows you didn’t feel the airflow. Given these conditions, it was good to slow down a bit. Jamaicans came up with this already in 1966, when they turned ska into rocksteady. And that is a genre Victor Rice loves.
Plenty of stars play at Freedom Sounds Festival, but usualy the artists listed slightly lower on the event poster cause my heart to beat faster. That was the case with Jesse Wagner & The Badasonics. After a great gig we had an opportunity to talk a little – listen or read the interview.
The Uppertones are coming back to Poland! Next week, with a refreshed line up and maybe also with some new songs, they will play in Poznań, Warsaw and Gdańsk. On this occasion, we want to take you back in time to last spring, when Mr. T-Bone and company visited us last time.
It was one of the largest teams on stage of Freedom Sounds Festival 2018. The North East Ska Jazz Orchestra consists of up to twenty people! They have been playing together since 2012, and set themselves a goal to rebuild the Italian ska scene. In March they released a new, self-titled album, which I talked about with the bassist of the band, Roberto Amadeo, last year.
Eastern Standard Time’s concert was from the start on my list of “gigs to see” at Freedom Sounds Festival 2019. In the first days of April the Americans released their sixth album, “Time For Change” and I was curious, how the new material will sound live. I took the opportunity to chat with the drummer and band founder, James McDonald and vocalist, I-Peace Unikue.
Derrick Harriott once said, “Ask any Jamaican musician and they’ll tell you the rocksteady days were the best days of Jamaican music.” Despite its short lifespan, the influence of this genre is not to be underestimated. Keith & Tex, best known for their hit “Stop That Train”, were a part of this new craze.
There was no indication that RudeMaker would celebrate its tenth birthday in any way. When our good friend Victor Quero wrote that he would like to invite The Slackers to Warsaw, it became clear that this was supposed to happen. After all, users of the Soundcrazy forum, which a few years later transformed into RM, met personally in Kraków in 2003 at the New Yorker’s concert.
– Well, that’s life, when you want to record an interview with an artist. You can’t be everywhere – I thought when I was leaving the Soothsayers’ gig at this year’s edition of Freedom Sounds Festival. Susan Cadogan, a Jamaican singer who was famous in the ’70s with the hit “Hurt So Good” recorded for Lee Perry, was waiting for me at a hotel nearby.
In USA attitude to Jamaican music depends on which coast you live on (or perhaps on how much sun you get during the year). In California musical nerds strip away Treasure Isle and Studio One music to recreate it perfectly. In New York musicians write great songs by intuition or trial & error. From connecting both these worlds Reggae Workers Of The World emerged. Alongside Jesse Wagner from The Agrrolites and Vic Ruggiero from The Slackers there’s also Nico Léonard from The Moon Invaders throwing in his two euro-cents. Their second album “R.W.W. II” was released in May by Nico’s label, Badasonic Records. For this occasion they went touring in Europe.
Six (or maybe more) years ago, delighted with the newest discovery, I was talking to a friend (Hi, Sidor!) about a guy, who only by himself makes fantastic music, which hasn’t been performed by any Polish band so far. Not at this quality, not with this feeling.
It doesn’t happen too often to accidentially meet musicians, for whose gig you’ve came from far away. Imagine our surprise, when we stumbled upon guys from Steady 45’s at our hotel’s lobby. It’s not like we’ve ended our day at festival right away and end up at a crazy party in the hallway, but it made much easier to set up a meeting to record an interview at hotel’s dining room.