Happy Birthday Kenney Jones, born OTD in 1948. As drummer with the Small Faces, Faces and later The Who, Kenney Jones’ unique sense of rhythm was the heartbeat that powered three of the most influential rock bands of all time. Beginning in London’s post-war East End, Kenney’s story takes us through the birth of the Mod revolution, the mind-bending days of the late-60s and the raucous excesses of the ’70s and ’80s. In a career spanning six decades, Kenney was at the epicentre of many of the most exciting moments in music history and has experienced everything the industry has to offer.

He jointly created some of the world’s most-loved records, hung out with the Stones, Beatles, David Bowie, Keith Moon and … More

HOLD TIGHT is the book that kick started the ‘Grime Library’. Bursting into bookshops in July 2017 to rave reviews and a sold out event at Rough Trade East.. Celebrating over sixty key songs that make up Grime’s DNA, Jeffrey Boakye explores the meaning of the music and why it has such resonance in the UK.

Boakye also examines the representation of masculinity in the music and the media that covers it. Both a love letter … More

A group of kids in the 90s had a dream to make their voice heard – and this book documents their seminal impact on today’s pop culture. DJ Target grew up in Bow under the shadow of Canary Wharf, with money looming close on the skyline. The ‘Godfather of Grime’ Wiley and Dizzee Rascal first met each other in his bedroom. They were all just grime kids on the block back then, and didn’t realise they were to become pioneers of an international music revolution. A movement that permeates deep into British culture and beyond.

Household names were borne out of those housing estates, and the music industry now jumps to the beat of their … More

Born OTD in 1941, Jamaican record producer, Bunny “Striker” Lee. Lee began his career working as a record plugger for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label in 1962, later performing the same duties for Leslie Kong. He then moved on to work with Ken Lack, initially in an administrative role, before taking on engineering duties. Lee then moved into producing (i.e. financing) records himself, his first hit record coming with Roy Shirley’s “Music Field” on WIRL in 1967. Lee then set up his own Lee’s label, the first release being Lloyd Jackson’s “Listen to the Beat”.

Omnipresent on the Jamaican music scene for over four decades, Bunny Striker’ Lee is one of the most important figures … More

David Keenan’s first novel is populated by about 30 beautifully believable and appallingly sad local legends – including that great band (Memorial Device), that drug-dealer survivalist and that expat romantic. The book’s subtitle gives the most succinct description of the whole enterprise: “An Hallucinated Oral History of the Post-Punk Scene in Airdrie, Coatbridge and Environs, 1978‑1986”.

Ross Raymond and Johnny McLaughlin are two fanboys dedicated to the Airdrie post-punk scene of the early ’80s – the … More

Known primarily as the label of soul groups the Superbs, Whispers and Entertainers IV, it has taken at least 40 years for Dore’s fluttering feather on the light blue background to reveal its full Northern Soul content. The Entertainers IV’s ‘Gettin’ Back Into Circulation’ was soon noticed, as it shared the same backing as the Whispers’ original of ‘Doctor Love’. Kenard Gardner was Lew Bedell’s right-hand soul man and his ‘Do The Skin’ also crossed the Atlantic in the 70s; the raucous dance-craze oozed soul and sported an irrepressible beat. Then came the Northern Soul behemoth – Rita & the Tiaras’ ‘Gone With The Wind Is My Love’. Released in 1967 in very small numbers, it took a decade to be discovered by the rare soul scene. It grew from a Wigan Casino floor-filler into a byword for all that is best in uptempo US soul. Plaintive vocals, atmospheric, imaginative production, a relentless beat and a melody and lyric like no other.

By the early 70s, the Fidels already had the classic stomper ‘Try A Little Harder’ under their belt, so it … More

Out Friday. The All-Nighter has been an integral part of “the scene” since the phrase Northern Soul first came into popular use following the now legendary Blues & Soul article entitled “The Up-North Soul Groove” in June 1970 by journalist Dave Godin. During the heyday of the Northern Soul scene the ‘All-Nighter’ was the preferred format for the travelling soul fan. It separated the scene’s top venues from the hundreds of regional soul nights in pubs, clubs and community halls across the land. The All-Nighter was the ultimate experience and the only place to hear the best, the rarest and the breaking sounds spun by the leading DJ’s.

All 16 ‘All-Nighter’ tracks on this newly curated compilation have been remastered from analogue tapes and original vinyl. It is … More

By 1970, Lee Scratch Perry was firmly established as one of Jamaica’s premier producers, having issued a series of local hits on his Upsetter imprint, including the international best-seller, ‘Return of Django’. His no-nonsense, hard-hitting sound won him numerous fans, both in his native land and the UK, where legions of young skinheads snapped up every record they could find that bore the Perry hallmark sound. Originally issued by Trojan at the start of 1970, ‘Scratch The Upsetter Again’ illustrates Perry taking a contemplative glance further into the realm of instrumental sound.

New reissue vinyl LP available in store and online.

One for the Northern Soul collectors, what a voice! Blown away by this album. “In the last two decades, Little Ann’s music has gone from being almost unheard to celebrated widely across the world. Initially known only as a footnote for having one side of one Ric-Tic single in 1968, the discovery and playing of her acetate of ‘What Should I Do’ at Wigan Casino in the late 70s meant her name become important to rare soul fans (when it was revealed that Little Ann was the real singer of the song erroneously attributed to Rose Valentine at the time).”

Once Ace Records acquired Dave Hamilton’s Detroit studio tapes, through the auspices of researcher Richard Gilbert, more previously unheard gems … More

When Jamaica became independent on August 6, 1962, ska music was playing in yards, dancehalls, and in recording studios as this new nation celebrated. It was a spirited music, full of promise, optimism, and energy and it was the perfect sound to showcase to the world. Now that Jamaica was independent, what better way to demonstrate the culture, beauty, and art of Jamaica than through ska, both as a music and as a dance. The Jamaican government, tourist and business industry, and newly developing music industry made it their mission to bring Jamaican music to the world, through events they termed Operation Jump Up. This is the story of that effort and how, for a brief time, ska rivaled the Beatles and the Twist.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More