Black Roots Live, Bristol Studios, 1986

BLACK ROOTS are a heavy roots outfit from the St. Paul’s area of Bristol, England formed in 1979.  They toured extensively in the UK and Europe in the 1980s and early 1990s releasing several albums and singles during that time before disappearing from the music scene for about ten years. Their comeback began when Soundicate/Makasound, a French record label, released an album in 2004 and followed it up with another in 2007 (both were compilations made up from their extensive back catalogue).

They made my list of the 25 best reggae albums for 2013 with ON THE GROUND IN DUB.  They may be best known for their flawless performance on John Peel’s radio show in 1985, a performance which was captured on tape by the BBC and issued as BLACK ROOTS:  IN SESSION.  The album has been an essential listen for me since the late 1980s.

Here is an excerpt from one of the best live performances that I have on video.  The opening three songs are just the hardest, heaviest, dreadest vibes you’ll ever hear live….And you know me.  Damn all that happy-feel-good-I’m-in-love reggae music.  I take mine DREAD, and THE DREADER THE BETTER.  I like to suffer while I listen.

1. Juvenile Delinquent
2. Freedom Fighters
3.  All Day, All Night


7 thoughts on “Black Roots Live, Bristol Studios, 1986

  1. Nice, I didn’t know that Black Roots had started to play again. I saw the band at a couple of festivals in the 80s (WOMAD for sure, Glastonbury I think). Pulse were international by then. It was Aswad & Misty In Roots who carried the swing with that British Reggae Rockers sound but these guys knew how it went. The DJ who promoted so much good music was John Peel (not David Peel).

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