Garance Reggae Festival

25 – 28 July 2012

Set in the south of France on the River Ceze, this four-day event is a marathon of pleasure to the ears. Into its twenty-third year the festival attracts big name roots, rub-a-dub, rocksteady and ska artists to its main stage as well as some of the largest and most respected names in sound system culture to the neigh on perfect seven stack Dub Station.   (more…)

Raggamuffin 2012

Raggamuffin main stageDriving up to Raggamuffin for the second time in the five years that it has been running, I found myself a little more nervous and excited then the first time. Not only because I was going to interview some of my favorite artists, or because the line-up was better then the first time, when there was the likes of Lauryn Hill (it was in fact worse). It was simply because I was eager to see how reggae heads in Aotearoa would react to a different type of stage show that I knew a lot of them were not accustomed to. (more…)

Raggamuffin 2011

Raggamuffin main stageWhen the Raggamuffin line-up was announced a few months back I wasn’t overly impressed. Mary J Blige – talented but not really my taste in music. Jimmy Cliff – a legend but a bit played out for me. Maxi Priest – too much synth-drum-loop-machine 80s style reggae. The Original Wailers – when I hear the term ‘Original Wailers’ I think Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, but that’s another story. Ky-Mani Marley and Sean Paul were the saving grace of the line-up for me.

So I was very disappointed to hear prior to the festival the announcement that Sean Paul wouldn’t be performing and even more disappointed that Raggamuffin didn’t give any reason for the cancellation.


Raggamuffin 2010

Raggamuffin stage I arrived at Raggamugffin about halfway through Katchafire’s set. Being a first-time attendee of the festival, I checked out the stalls and shops then ventured into the crowd for Sean Kingston’s set. I’m still not quite sure how or why but I enjoyed his set even though I don’t really enjoy his ‘hit’ songs which he played. DJ Nasty (Sean Kingston’s official DJ apparently) did a good job and hyped the crowd on the mic.



Katchafire11 July @ San Fran Bath House, Wellington

I don’t think I need to give any background information on these guys, everyone knows them and what they are about, and if you don’t then…where have you been?  These guys have been spreading the irie reggae vibes around Aotearoa for the last ten years and also more recently world-wide. (more…)


Kode92 July @ Garden Club, Wellington

Steve Goodman, aka Kode9, is a crucial figure in the world of the dubstep. As well as producing his own brand of dark, futuristic dub music, he runs the Hyperdub label, which has pushed the dubstep genre to new and exciting places with artists such as the Bug, Flying Lotus and the incomparable Burial.  To top it off he is also a lecturer at the University of East London, where he specialises in the subject of Sonic Warfare.  (more…)


Summerset stage18 April @ Basin Reserve, Wellington

This is the third year Sandwiches has presented the Summerset festival at the Basin Reserve. Showcasing twelve hours of local and international music, Summerset is definitely one of the highlights of the year and also signals the end of summer.  This year the weather was fantastic, the venue iconic and good vibes were had from a diverse crowd.  (more…)

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Alborosie and Lady Saw at Eurockeennes Festival – 5/6/7 July 2008, Belfort, France

AlborosieI realised after reading through a recent post on the NiceUp forum how lucky I was to attend the Eurockeennes festival a week ago in Belfort, France. This is one of Frances’ oldest and biggest festivals, and despite the initial focus on rock it now includes a lot of other types of music, ranging from electro to French hip-hop and reggae dancehall.

This year the festival was celebrating its 20th anniversary and the line-up lived up to the occasion. Amongst acts such as Massive Attack, the Offspring and Moby, were Alborosie and Lady Saw. (more…)

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Battle-Ska Galactica – 21 June 2008, Wellington

Battle-Ska GalacticaThe New Zealand Ska scene has grown heaps in the last couple of years. Acts like The Managers and The Yoots have really come to the fore with their infectious rudy grooves and this year saw the launch of our first homegrown Ska festival – Toots and Grooves. Another band which is really moving the Ska scene forward is Wellington-based Battleska Galactica. 

As you might have guessed by their name, Battleska don’t take themselves too seriously. But they do play some seriously good music. Their sound draws heavy influence from both the original Skatilites Ska sound, and the second wave ‘two tone’ movement spearheaded by the British band, The Specials.  (more…)

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