One Big Family
Celebrating 20 years of Rebel Lion
Saturday 29 December 2017, 8pm-3am
The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich, UK
I guess if you are reading this then you are a serious reggae fan and you don’t need me to tell you that sound system culture is the lifeblood of reggae. Taking the UK as an example, these meets link up different communities around the country and help to create that ‘one love’ vibe that we like to promote. I can’t actually think of another music genre that operates on this close knit social level? But as popular as they are, the gigs still need to be promoted. This piece is about a sound system crew who are based in Norwich in the UK and will very shortly be celebrating 20 years of skanking and dubbing the public.
Cast your mind back to 1997, a year marked by the death of Princess Diana and the coming to power of Tony Blair. These events contributed to a change in UK social culture. Whether you were a royalist or not, the shocking death of Diana left a very bad taste in the mouth and I think took some of the joy and innocence out of the country. With Tony Blair we hoped ‘things would get better’ but his leadership sowed the seeds of the discontent we have now across the world.
In sleepy Norfolk a positive antidote to the world’s problems was brewing and it would impact heavily on the local reggae scene. Young operator Maka T (Tim Carter) moved up to Norfolk and linked up with a young sound, Culture Vibes, who his youngest brother Militant Youth (Finbarr Carter) had already been moving with. The legend that is Rebel Lion was born.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
You probably have a similar outfit in your town, but over the years Rebel Lion have worked hard to help build up a thriving roots community in Norfolk through community events, festivals, radio shows and regular sessions.
During this time they have worked with some of roots music’s best singers, bands and sound systems stretching to all parts of the globe including, Iration Steppas, Roots Ting, I&I Oneness, Natty Frontline (legendary selector from Sufferah Sound, Sir Coxsone Outernational and Frontline International), Sister Rasheda, Roots Commandments (Germany), Caveman International (Jamaica), King Shiloh (Holland), Earl Sixteen, Sandeeno, Tena Stelin, Kenny Knots, Stamina Li, Macka B, Horace Andy and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to name a few.
As lead man Finbarr states “The music policy is tight – conscious roots & culture – from its beginning with Studio One to the latest Upfront Roots JA to UK, but strictly Roots. The message of the music is fundamental, no slackness, hatred, ism or skisism….pure positivity – musical education with a love vibration. The conscious message of the music, the roaring bass and the sweet live vocals and musicians give Rebel Lion an unmistakable flavour. Raw roots reggae music to make you jump and skank to your hearts content.”
Many of you will know Finbarr Carter and have been touched by his enthusiasm, positivity and devotion to the reggae cause. He always comes across as such a ‘decent’ guy and in this age of greed and intolerance that should be applauded and supported. Have a look below at the man in action with his version of ‘I Fought the Law’.
Enough of the rambling and to the point of this piece… this December marks 20 years of Rebel Lion and they are holding a special sound system birthday celebration. All are invited and it promises to be one of those legendary evenings that crop up now and again. A few details are below but check out the Facebook event page for more details and also the Rebel Lion Twitter page.
Wherever you are in the world please try and make it, and if you can’t join the party at least share this blog post and help get the word out. You are not only supporting Rebel Lion but sound system culture everywhere and helping to keep this wonderful community strong.
Bless, Paper Lion
Celebrating twenty years of Rebel Lion musical journey and those we’ve met, vibesed, worked with, supported by and been helped by along the way.
Max musical and heartical respects to all session attendees, box lifters, amp lenders, van drivers, singers, mc’s, selectors, producers, promoters, sounds and not forgetting our elders, teachers, guiders and friends; especially
Tremayne ‘jahmanye’ Cox, Malcolm Napthali aka Jah Vengance & Kenny Culture ‘Govenment’
Without all you and all you’ve done we wouldn’t have made it this far.
ONE BIG FAMILY
Celebrating 20 years of
REBEL LION & FRIENDS:
Sat 29 Dec
The Owl Sanctuary
£3 B410 £5 after
Father Wazir, King Original
Thunder Clap Sound System (Bilbao, Spain) aka Carlos Rey Surman
Foundation Sound & Free King Sound System
Singer Tempa aka Pat O’Reilly
Rebeccadecca Doo (Electric Violin)