How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

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How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:16 pm

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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Ranking Glasses » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:49 pm

Yes, it was great before the Smurfs took over:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3UZD9m-woc
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby mikus » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:31 pm

Its great to see such big audiences for reggae, but its funny, for me reggae is at its best as a recorded music designed for play on a sound, rather than a live thing - in that respect it is probably unique of all non-electronic musical forms. Does anyone else feel the same?
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby underated » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:38 pm

Yes indeed,
Those were the days, i was at both of those sunsplash concerts in 84 & 85.
Magical times , so much creative forces back then, the music still carried a lot of power.

Incredible crowd, does anyone have an estimate ?
To me it looked like approx 20 thou + ?

Wonderful memories of those days :)
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby underated » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:39 pm

@ mikus

The great thing about this music is that it can sound wonderful either way, recorded or live......if the musicians have the power .

As someone else mentioned a few years back,
Prince Buster played studio one records at sunsplash & they were melting because of the heat, music still sounded great :)
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Ranking Glasses » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:21 pm

I have always thought that reggae sounds better on record on a sound system which goes back to its roots. It often sounds noisy played live and many bands play it far too fast.
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby dan i dubdub » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:44 pm

They also had Sunsplash shows at Clapham Common (or have I confused that with CP?) and Wembley Arena, probably the years after these ones at Crystal Palace. A guy I went with to the Wembley one lost his shoes!
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby dan i dubdub » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:21 pm

I think that live reggae and sound system events have (or used to have?) a slightly different audience, especially in the UK. Although I haven't been, I am glad the One Love Festival has managed to establish itself as a regular fixture. There hasn't really been anything like it since the Essential Festivals, which started in Brighton, back in the 90s. The other one I remember enjoying was by Wormwood Scrubs Prison in the 90s, which I think was also called One Love.
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Inyaki » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:10 am

Sound systems and live band shows complement each other, two sides of the same coin.
Some styles or artists might be more suited for SS but not all. Live shows have been crucial for Reggae's develepment (they existed before sounds...before Ska)...if it wasn't for Bob Marley & Wailers great live shows and touring there wouldn't be an international scene like we have (probably forum like this wouldn't even exist)
Some of the most magical moment I've witnessed are live band shows (from the stage and the audience)...I've seen been veteran selectors-soundmen overcome with emotion at live shows too, there is something special when seen an artist in person performing and a great band playing the music to perfection with a great engineer. I mean good live shows of course, not the usual 4 piece unrehearsed backing band trying to play songs that were originally recorded by 11 musicians and making live Reggae look like a joke!
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:17 am

Inyaki wrote: I mean good live shows of course, not the usual 4 piece unrehearsed backing band trying to play songs that were originally recorded by 11 musicians and making live Reggae look like a joke!


Not to mention the ubiquitous modern 'tic' of the constant 'wheels' and 'rewinds' where the band crashes to a halt with all the grace of someone dropping an armload of pots & pans..... !

FWIW - I can think back to countless reggae live stage shows I saw in the 80's which were AMAZING, full of vibes, focus, great tones, listening & interplay, superb musicianship and powerful vocals that were integrated into whole experience...

The degeneration already began to set in that decade though with the advent of 'bag-o-nails' keyboards like the DX-7, dancehall inspired 'rewinds', tinny lead guitar solos on transistor amps with guitars meant for 80's metal, trimming down band lineups for economic reasons, and the band becoming a secondary backdrop or carpet over which singers did their 'thing'....
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Inyaki » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:35 am

Amen to that!
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby underated » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:34 pm

Chocolate Soldier wrote:The degeneration already began to set in that decade though with the advent of 'bag-o-nails' keyboards like the DX-7, dancehall inspired 'rewinds', tinny lead guitar solos on transistor amps with guitars meant for 80's metal, trimming down band lineups for economic reasons, and the band becoming a secondary backdrop or carpet over which singers did their 'thing'....


There is something in those words.


I have some hates about reggae, mc introduces the Legend, the backing band plays a short medley of tunes, then artist takes the stage to constant rewinds & asks the crowd how they are feeling, i would really like to shout out ,I'm really bored.

The music does not sound like the record,
cause few people care about details anymore, just make it passable & that's okay.

I did read something about fams a few years back when he was saying that the wailers band still used the same gear & recording methods from bob's time, that's makes sense.

There does exist deep & heavy sounding roots reggae tones as well as watered down pop reggae, nowadays some people don't know the difference, everything has it's place, musicians / soundmen / producers should know all the elements that make the sound.

In this time it's almost like some people can't hear the various elements so they make excuses to cover their own shortcomings.

I guess that's why sound systems are popular, the selecter plays many tunes that are not watered down, they know the sound.
When i first heard this music, it was straight up Word Sound & Power, I don't hear too much of that nowadays.
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby marko » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:06 am

Ranking Glasses wrote:Yes, it was great before the Smurfs took over:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3UZD9m-woc


thanks, really enjoyed this dennis brown clip. another one came up in the youtube sidebar which is worth a view, deb in sav la mar, must be around 78 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7-qJXqMCWw

i went to one of these events at crystal palace, remember seeing skatalites, black uhuru same day, i guess it was the 85, can anyone confirm which year it was?
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby Inyaki » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:03 am

84
Video footage is easily available
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Re: How things used to be - UK Sunsplash 1985!

Postby ice » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:37 pm

I still have audience recordings of some of the acts - those were the days
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