Brent gets its due

Brent gets its due

Observer senior writer

Friday, November 27, 2020

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No Bass Like Home, a two-year series highlighting the contribution of the borough Brent to the development of reggae in the United Kingdom, ended on November 15 with its online festival.

The seven-hour virtual event featured performances by Janet Kay, Marla Brown and The Cimarons from the Brent Black Music Co-op Studio in Brent, Horace Andy and Ken Boothe from Harry J studios in Kingston and Julian Marley, who did an acoustic set from Florida.

Zerritha Brown of the Brent Borough of Culture played a major role in organising the events which she said met their objectives.

“As part of the London Borough of Culture we have been working with the Brent community to create a reggae map to capture the iconic people and places that have shaped Brent's reggae history and a digital sound archive which brings to life people's memories and personal thoughts about the borough's contribution to reggae, its impact and legacy,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Brown disclosed that the festival — which she coordinated with disc jockey Seani B of BBC Radio 1Xtra — attracted over 100,000 views.

Prior to that event, a 20-minute video of interviews with artistes, musicians and producers was released. Featured were Brown's father, guitarist Trevor “Trevor Starr” Brown, singer Dave Barker of Double Barrel fame, and marketing executive/producer Anthony “Chips” Richards.

They spoke of the glory days of reggae in Brent, located in north-west London. The borough was home to thousands of people of West Indian heritage, as well as influential record companies like Trojan, Jet Star and Orbitone.

Richards, who worked with Trojan for several years, is happy the area is finally getting its due as a reggae force.

“Brent is very important to the success of reggae in the UK. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who made it happen, especially in the early years,” he said.

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