The Beat-Herder Festival

3 more days of beats and barminess

Dates T.B.C. The Ribble Valley, Lancashire.

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Macka. B & The Roots Ragga Band

The Beat-Herder Stage - Sunday

Macka.B is one of Britain's most influential dancehall toasters, pushing the music back toward a Rastafarian political consciousness. His rough, gravely vocals give him an instantly identifiable sound. Although the vast majority of Macka B's material is devoted to spiritual and social messages, he also lightens the mood with perceptive, humorous material. He has shunned aspirations for a commercial crossover, however, staying true to the sound and spirit of his roots but playing shows worldwide to likeminded followers.
Macka.B has always been interested in music. At a very young age he was impressed by the heavyweight sound system Lord Barley, playing in the blues party next door. The vibrant reggae beat found a place in his heart that remains there to this day. At school he played the violin and he joined the school choir and at home he took inspiration from Reggae music, listening to such greats as Burning Spear, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Count Ossie, to name but a few.
On leaving school he sought a career in engineering and obtained a technical apprenticeship at Ever Ready. However he was made redundant due to factory closure, this proved to be a blessing in disguise. He started to practice DJing at home taking inspiration from legends such as U-Roy, I-Roy, Big Youth, Prince Far-I, etc. It was also at this time that Macka.B decided to accept the Ras Tafari faith which is the central part of his life. He and some friends started a sound system called Exodus, which just happened to be the same sound that Macka.B used to listen to as a little youth. The sound was passed down from father to sons and renamed Exodus.
In 1982 a visit to Jamaica inspired him deeply and went a long way to encouraging him to develop his talent. In 1983 he entered a DJ competition at the Rising Star club in Bilston, (also included were Pato Banton & Rankin Ann.) Macka.B won the competition and this lead to him being invited onto the radio several times and his name began to spread. He also performed in a band called Pre-Wax, they did many live shows and also appeared on Channel 4's Rockers Road show. A record called Maggie's Letter was also released by a producer called Papa P. It became a local success. Derek Nelson producer of Ebony BBC2, heard Macka.B perform on the radio, and as they had a show planned for Birmingham, they asked him to perform. He went down so well he received a regular spot on the next series.
Macka.B continued to work with sound systems; Wassifa from Birmingham & Skippy & Lippy being the main ones. A cassette of a dance Wassifa v Saxon Sound, was heard by John & Chris at Fashion records who invited Macka.B to come and record. "Bible Reader" was released and did well in the Reggae singles charts. Mad Professor the legendary producer/performer and owner of Ariwa Records saw Macka.B perform on T.V. and arranged a meeting. This lead to Macka.B joining the Ariwa label and recording the LP "Sign of the Times" which went straight to No 1. in the Reggae charts. He then appeared on Channel 4 Club Mix & at the 1986 Sunsplash in Wembley Arena and began to tour Europe.
Macka.B’s 2nd album "We've Had Enough" was released in 1987, he also appeared on BBC 2's Def 11 - Behind the Beat. 1989 saw the released of the Buppie Culture LP. The album featured the single "Dread a who she love" a duet with Kofi, which went to number one in the reggae singles charts. 1990’s "Proud of Mandela" celebrated the release of the long imprisoned South African inspirational leader. It went straight to number one in the Reggae singles chart and was featured on the album "Natural Suntan". His prolific output continued apace with 1991's “Peace Cup” and 1992's “Jamaica, No Problem?” which earned him Best Male DJ awards in Britain both years, and 1993's live set “Roots Ragga” was an accurate description of his sound by that point. 1994's “Here Comes Trouble” gave Macka B one of his biggest hits with the internationally popular "Squeeze Me", which was hugely successful in Hawaii of all places. The 1995 follow-up, “Discrimination”, was a strong set, and it was succeeded by “Hold On to Your Culture” and “Suspicious”. 1999's semi-compilation “Roots & Culture” mixed some of Macka B's greatest hits with previously unreleased material. It was followed by a new studio set, “Global Messenger”, in 2000.
In 2002 Macka.B teamed up with his current backing musicians the Roots Ragga Band to release the album “By Royale Command” and in 2003 he played for the first time in West Africa performing in Senegal alongside Baba Maal. In 2004 Macka.B signed to the Jet Star label (Charm) releasing the album “Word, Sound and Power” to great critical acclaim. 2007 saw the release of his first Live DVD filmed at festivals in France and Mayotte Island. His last album ‘More Knowledge’, released on Humal Records in 2008, was greatly appreciated by fans old and new.
Macka.B released his latest album ‘Change the World’ on his own Chinelo Records in the summer of 2012. The album, his first since ‘More Knowledge’ in 2008, features guest vocals from Luciano, Earl 16, David Hinds and Lloyd Brown. He will be performing selected tracks from this release plus favourites from the vault at club shows and festivals in 2014.
Macka.B continues to tour the world performing in faraway places such as Mayotte Island, Hawaii, Mexico and all 4 corners of Europe, spreading consciousness, humility and breaking down the barriers.