Dave and Ansel Collins to reunite

Dave and Ansel Collins to reunite

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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The most unique duo ever in the history of Jamaican music, Dave and Ansel Collins, are set to reunite for the first time since the early 1970's, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their UK number song Double Barrel.

The pair — vocalist and instrumentalist — was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1947 and 1949, respectively, and worked for producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry in the late 1960s, before teaming up in 1971, to create the major hit, Double Barrel.

Topping the British chart, and peaking at 22 on the Billboard chart, Double Barrel earned the distinction to be the first song to be charted on both side of the Atlantic at the same time.

Released by Techniques Records as part of the Trojan Records label, the number one song on the Jamaican charts in March of 1971, also earned another first in that it was the first record celebrated drummer, Sly Dunbar, ever played on. He was aged fourteen at the time.

Their follow-up releases, Monkey Spanner and Stalag 17, also made to the Top 10 on the UK chart. Most of their recorded work was written by Winston Riley.

They attempted a comeback in 1981 without success. Since then, Collins who first international solo work was the instrumental Night Doctor, has played and worked with The Upsetters, Black Uhuru, The Mighty Diamonds, Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, URoy, Pama International and Jimmy Cliff.

The event on which Dave and Ansel Collins will be marking their return to the stage will be the prestigeous London International Ska Festival to be held from April 21-24, at The Clapham Grand Theatre in London, England. The festival is expected to feature some 37 bands and DJs from 11 countries, showcasing the very best Ska music. The line-up will also include Ken Boothe, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, The Ska Flames from Japan, Dub Pistols, The English Beat with Dave Wakeling, James Hunter, The Trojans, The Loafers, Hotknives, Bim Skala Bim from the USA, Giuliano Palma and the Bluebeaters from Italy, Napoleon Solo from Denmark, The Caroloregians from Belgium among others.

"A booking agent lady link up this thing with me and Dave," Ansel Collins confirmed. "From 1971 we did shows and we never did any more before this upcoming one, he told the Observer.

The veteran musicans who said that Double Barrel was recorded from 1968 but was not released until ‘71, admitted that it feels good to be working with his partner again. However, not one of many words, he was unable to say whether the reunification will go any further, although he would like to perform on a reunion gig in Jamaica.

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