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London International Ska Festival back for second year

The London International Ska Festival

Story by Jack Foley

THE London International Ska Festival returns to London for its second celebration of all things Ska this April.

The event is set over four days at London’s iconic Clapham Grand Theatre and features 22 bands and 10 DJs from around the world alongside some extra special exclusives.

The festival showcases the finest global talent from the Jamaican originators and the rhythm and blues sounds that inspired them through 2 Tone and 21st century ska sounds, the progression into rocksteady and reggae, 2 Tone and right up to date with 21st century ska sounds.

Headliners include Jamaican legend Ken Boothe, famed for his UK No.1 hit Everything I Own and one of reggae’s most influential singer/songwriters Bob Andy, who will be teaming up once again with the ‘Queen of Reggae’ Maric Griffiths for a UK exclusive.

Reuniting for the first time since the 1970’s will be Dave & Ansel Collins, who will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their UK No.1 Double Barrel.

From the 2 Tone era, there’s The English Beat, starring Dave Wakeling… the lead singer and songwriter of The Beat (or The English Beat as they’re known in the USA, where he now lives and tours).

Also gracing the festival is Grammy nominated sensation James Hunter, rightly described by Van Morrison as “one of the best voices in British R’n’B and Soul” and from Japan, playing their only European show, a band to rival The Skatalites, The Ska Flames.

Added to all this is a stellar line-up of DJs, from club specialists to band cameos, radio disc jockeys to JA legends, including Clive Chin, boss of Jamaica’s vital Randys Records, celebrating the label’s 50th anniversary, Lynval Golding (The Specials), Mark Lamarr, Gaz Mayall (Gaz’s Rockin Blues), Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA) and many more.

Confirmed line-up so far:

Thursday, April 21 – 6pm-3am
KEN BOOTHE (Jamaica)
JAMES HUNTER
GIULIANO PALMA & THE BLUEBEATERS (Italy)
MAROON TOWN

DJS:
CLIVE CHIN (Randys)
RHODA DAKAR (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA)
TOMMY ROCK-A-SHACKA (Japan)
TAKESHI OKAWA (Japan-The Ska Flames/Sun Shot)

Friday, April 22 – 6pm-3am
DAVE & ANSELL COLLINS (Jamaica)
THE TROJANS
THE LOAFERS (one-off reformation)
HOTKNIVES (orig.line up)
THE CAROLOREGIANS (Belgium)
SKAOS (Germany)
LES EJECTES (France)

DJS:
GAZ MAYALL (Gazs Rockin Blues)
JIM COX
GREEDY G

Saturday, April 23 – 6pm-3am
THE ENGLISH BEAT with DAVE WAKELING
DUB PISTOLS
INTENSIFIED
NAPOLEON SOLO (Denmark)
THE AMPHETAMEANIES (Scotland)
JIMMY THE SQUIRREL

DJS:
LYNVAL GOLDING (The Specials)
WRONGTOM
FELIX HALL

Sunday, April 24 – 6pm-2am
BOB ANDY & MARCIA GRIFFITHS (Jamaica)
THE SKA FLAMES (Japan)
BIM SKALA BIM (USA)
THE SIDEWALK DOCTORS
CARTOON VIOLENCE (Wales)

DJS:
MARK LAMARR
DUB VENDOR ALL-STARS
THE TIGHTEN UP CREW ft. CHAMPIAN MC

Tickets cost £39.50 + £7 booking fee (for day passes) and £129.99 + £7 booking fee for full 4-day passes.