Sunday, 13 July 2008

Smoking the celestial dream

Jimmy Cliff is playing in Finsbury Park later this afternoon as part of the Greater London Authority's Rise festival. One of Boris Johnson's first acts as mayor was to strip the free event of its anti-racist theme, a decision that led to the withdrawal of £60,000 in trade union sponsorship but was greeted with delight by the new BNP London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook.

Of course any multicultural event still carries an implicit anti-racist message and Bojo hasn't invited the BNP to set up a stall - yet - so it's still worth trying to get along. Jimmy Cliff did as much as anyone to bring ska and reggae to an international audience, starring in Perry Henzell's iconic film The Harder They Come, currently revived as a stage musical at the Playhouse Theatre; and there's a huge range of other acts, all free.

I reviewed The Harder They Come before its West End transfer in a piece called 'Guns and Ganja', which you can read here. And if you want to read even more from me about the blessed 'erb, my article 'Smoking the Celestial Dream', from the June/July issue of Red Pepper, is now available in full on their website,


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Manasseh said...

Hey, you should look at Pogus Caesar's astounding book MUZIK KINDA SWEET = it features rare archive photographs of legendary Reggae artists including: Burning Spear, Mighty Diamonds, Augustus Pablo, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Delgado, Prince Alla, Dennis Brown the mighty Jimmy Cliff and a host of others. This book is a must for all lovers of Reggae.

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