Bristol Archive Records Blog

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New Releases For June

Friday, June 21st, 2013


Check this feature from Belgium

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Great feature on the label:

‘Black Roots’ – BLACK ROOTS

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

30th Anniversary Re-release

RECORD STORE DAY SPECIAL with Unique Hand Made Screen Printed Sleeve (original sleeve included)

Strictly Limited to 100 copies and Limited to 3 copies per person

Released 20th April 2013.

With the release of the latest Black Roots album “On The Ground” and its dub counterpart “On The Ground In Dub” via our sister label Sugar Shack Records, Bristol Archive Records decided to do something special to celebrate the band’s return to the studio. What could be better than a very special reissue of Black Roots self-titled first album, released to coincide with its 30th anniversary and, as this will be a vinyl only release we thought we’d combine it with this year’s Record Store Day event.

“Black Roots” was originally released in 1983, by which time the band was established as one of the UK’s leading live acts with a strong repertoire of socially aware songs reflecting the issues of the day. When it came to their first album, they chose eight of their strongest tracks and assembled what was to become one of the classic British reggae albums of the decade.

Featuring the tracks; “The Father”, “Survival”, “Juvenile Delinquent”, “What Them ‘A Do”, “Opportunity”, “Tribal War”, “Africa” and “Move On”, the album covers themes of social alienation, deprivation, repatriation, Rastafari, violence within the black community and ends, with the tale of a failing relationship. Three decades later, many of the songs are just as relevant and provide the perfect complement to their latest recordings.

This new release will be strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide. 400 copies will be available for Record Store Day, 20th April 2013, at participating retailers and feature a facsimile of the original sleeve, whilst 100 copies will be available directly from Bristol Archive Records and very select retailers and feature a unique handmade screen printed sleeve as well as being individually numbered, a very special edition.

This is the first time this album has been available on vinyl for twenty five years and there is every likelihood that demand will outstrip supply so be sure to grab your copy. /

ARTIST: Black Roots

TITLE: Black Roots


LABEL: Bristol Archive Records


FORMAT:  Limited Edition Vinyl and Digital Download


BARCODE: 5052571041611


1.The Father


3.Juvenile Delinquent

4.What Them A Do


6.Tribal War


8.Move On

Claytown Troupe – Back and Live!

Monday, April 15th, 2013

A message from Claytown Troupe: Dear Folks

Do feel free to help spread some word on our forthcoming board-tread at the Camden Rocks festival June 1st, most appreciated, but would love to see you there too.

Our strong advice would be – BE THERE!

The Bristol Reggae Explosion Live

Monday, April 15th, 2013



17 Track CD / 11 Track DVD & Digital Download. Released 3rdJune 2013.

For the past three years, Bristol Archive Records have shone the spotlight on the City’s musical legacy, particularly reggae. Last year we decided we’d turn the spotlight on the artists themselves and so in August, a who’s who of Bristol reggae artists gathered together for The Bristol Reggae Explosion Live. It was a unique chance to enjoy more than ten of the city’s finest veterans sharing the same stage, in some cases for the first time in two decades.

The show was a huge success with the whole crowd and all the artists going home with large grins on their faces, having enjoyed one of the best shows and some of the nicest vibes in years. By chance, young film makers from 8th Sense Media and the “Dubplate To Dubstep” Ujima Radio film project were in attendance to document the evening and although we hadn’t planned a commercial release, the show was such a great success we decided that perhaps we should share the footage.

With many of the artists coming from St. Paul’s and with most of them having been involved in past carnivals, it seemed obvious to turn this celebration of Bristol and St. Paul’s musical legacy performed by the elders and filmed by the youths into something that could benefit the community and the next generation of performers.

Knowing of the yearly struggle to raise funds for St. Paul’s Carnival, Bristol Archive Records will be releasing “The Bristol Reggae Explosion Live 2012” as a CD/DVD package on 3rd June 2013 with profits donated to The St. Paul’s Carnival.

Although technical issues mean that not every artist is represented, the DVD contains eleven performances from Lord John Hutchinson, Bunny Marrett, Dennis McCalla aka Dallas, Popsy Curious, Glen Crookes, Dan Ratchet, Jashwha Moses and the mighty Talisman, who also provide backing for the other acts.

The accompanying CD contains 17 studio recordings from the acts involved and as well as those featured on the DVD, we get to enjoy the talents of Winston Minott, Veronica Morrison aka Veereal, Vibes and Cool Runnings with several tracks previously unreleased.

A special mention must go to Michael Jenkins and Steve Street whose hard work on the video and soundtrack respectively, made this release possible and of course the young film makers who captured the evening.

Whether you were fortunate enough to be present on that August night, are a fan of the acts or the label, want to support St. Paul’s Carnival or are just curious, you are sure to enjoy this package.

St. Pauls Carnival takes place in Bristol on 6th July 2013.

ARTIST: Various Artists

TITLE: The Bristol Reggae Explosion Live

RELEASE DATE: 3rd June 2013

LABEL: Bristol Archive Records


FORMAT:  CD/DVD and Digital Download


BARCODE: 5052571045923

Jashwha Moses ‘No War On Earth’ Album Review

Monday, April 15th, 2013

‘No War On Earth’

- Label: ‘Sugar Shack’
- Genre: ‘Reggae’ – Release Date: ’22nd April 2013′- Catalogue No: ‘FOD094CD’

Our Rating: 8/10

Mixing and matching his classic early singles such as ‘Rise Up’ and the defining, Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell-produced ‘Africa (Is Our Land)’, with hard to come by live recordings and tantalising post-Y2K material such as ‘Distant Guns’ and the disorienting ‘Steel’, the collation of JOSHUA (now JASHWHA) MOSES’ remarkably cohesive 2012 ‘debut’ LP ‘Joshua To Jashwa’ was a feat of extreme perseverance, even by the diligent standards of Mike Derby’s brilliant Bristol Archive imprint.

Thus, it comes as a truly pleasant surprise to discover that instead of a lengthening Stone Roses-esque silence, Moses’ eschewing of the wilderness continues apace, with his brand new studio LP ‘No War On Earth’ (released by Bristol Archive offshoot Sugar Shack) arriving barely 12 months after its illustrious predecessor.

Produced by long-time collaborator/ multi-instrumentalist Mikey Taylor-Hall and comprising nine vocal tracks and six dubs, ‘No War On Earth’ is the sound of roots’n’culture at its best. Continuity with the recent past is provided by seamless reshapings of ‘Steel’ and ‘Jah Time Has Come’, but it’s the all-new material here that really sets the pulse racing.

The opening ‘No Weep’ gives you a good idea of what to expect. Quickly settling into a vintage, Channel One-style groove and lifted by a commanding Moses vocal, it’s highly memorable, as is the righteous ‘No War’: a textbook slice of pure roots, with regal stabs of horns riding a heavy’ n’ potent skank and Moses’ humanity-first lyric (“ecological crises, nuclear devices encompass this Earth”) sounding all the more resonant as North Korea continues to ratchet up its Armageddon-fuelled rhetoric.

Typically, humanity and spirituality are high on Jashwha’s lyrical agenda. “And after all is said and done, what have you done for your fellow man?” he pertinently asks the powers that be on ‘No Weep’, while the title of ‘Power Crazy People’ speaks volumes on its own terms. The lyric from the strident, anti-slavery ‘Good Over Evil’ (“until there’s no longer first or second class citizens in any country”) are copped from the impassioned speech Heile Selassie delivered to the United Nations in October 1963, but it vividly captures an idealism we should still all be striving for regardless.

Version-wise, both ‘Weeping Dub’ and the impressive ‘No War Dubwise’ are from the King Tubby school of subterranean speaker-stretching, though ‘Good Over Evil Dubwise’ and ‘Do You Believe In Love Dubwise’ are both straighter, almost funky slices of urban militancy and they’re none the worse for that.

If Black Roots’ excellent ‘On The Ground’ sought (and succeeded) in its quest to bring proper, credible home-grown roots reggae into the 21st Century, then Jashwha Moses’ ‘No War On Earth’ is a highly satisfying second instalment. The Jahggae Man cometh indeed.

Sugar Shack Records online

Bristol Archive Records online

Shoc Wave – ‘A Bristol Story’

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

The Shoc Wave Records Compilation sleeve notes are written and now with the designers. Here is an extract:
‘Bristol Boys make more noise’. I got that quote from Mark Stewart (The Pop Group) and its stuck with me, the label and its releases ever since. Bristol boys and girls making music has never stopped from when I first started with Mike and The Molemen in 1978 right through to today with great new releases coming out of The Invada label run by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow
Bristol is a fantastic city, a beautiful place, a great place to visit and live in, BUT with a music infrastructure which has always been underground. People have generally paved their own way, swimming against the tide, fighting their war and doing it on their own with differing levels of success. A so called Music Business Infrastructure has never really existed with managers, accountants, artists and labels working together for the greater good so in a way, the underground style has always suited this city in the South West of England.
For me my underground and iconic Bristol music hero is Gene Walsh. Gene signed my band The Rimshots in 1979 and released our first single ‘I Was Wrong’ in 1980: he also managed us (Five white middle class kids from a posh part of Bristol being managed by a black guy! That just didn’t happen in 1979/1980).
Yes, Gene gave me my first opportunity to make a record but more importantly than that he used to invite us to his home where he would play Dominos with his friends, cook us chicken, peas and rice and talk of his dream, his vision for his company and how he believed he and his team could take Bristol and put it on the map. Remember, this is way before The Wild Bunch, Smith & Mighty, Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky, Roni Size and all that goes with them (Their labels, recording studios, collaborators etc). This was 1979/1980 Thatcher’s Britain; an unemployed waste land as Talisman would say on their 1980 single ‘Dole Age’ (Is anything sounding familiar?)
Gene and his team had plans to buy a property in St.Marks Road, Easton a primarily black community area. His dream was to have a recording studio, record label, press and PR, rehearsal space, offices for the label and publishing company all housed in one building, all working towards one common goal – success for the artists from Bristol, his adopted home.
I can remember asking Gene how he would make it happen and get the artists to work with him. Gene was infectiously enthusiastic, with a beaming smile, a driven but nice man. He wanted to create a stable similar to a Motown set up where he could attract the best of what Bristol had to offer. It could be any genre of music but two things mattered, it had to be great and be Bristol based.
The dream never materialised, the funding was never obtained from private investors being offered shares in the company. Maybe the community didn’t embrace it or understand it – but it didn’t happen. That building alongside many other buildings on St.Marks Road were picked up by property developers and today St.Marks Road is a thriving business area of Bristol primarily run by Asian businessmen.
The Shoc Wave label continued long after I lost contact with Gene but it would be fair to say it never had any of the success to which it aspired until now! Genes dream lives on with Bristol Archive Records and its sister labels Sugar Shack Records and Reggae Archive Records. We have managed due to the support from my team, to create an environment where artists are working together. Artists are releasing records with new and old material, and some of the Reggae bands Black Roots, Talisman and Jashwha Moses with Full Force and Power are reforming and hitting the road and playing UK and European Festivals with great success. We have created a roster, we have created a hub and we are enjoying success in what is now an incredibly difficult market and time in which to sell any records. This isn’t to say that we are the first, Smith & Mighty had their own label and pool of artists and so have many others, but we are different.
This album has been compiled to celebrate Gene Walsh and his team Fitzy, Melford, Mikey, Teresa plus all others and all the musicians that they worked with. We must all have a dream!

Gene your dream inspired us!

Mike Darby ‘Bristol Boys Make More Noise’
The release date of the CD will be put back slightly from the anticipated 15th April 2013 – but the release will be well worth the wait.

Record Collector Top 11 Reggae Releases of 2012

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Great news for the label

Joshua Moses – Joshua to Jashwha 30 years In The Wilderness

Bunny Marrett – I’m Free

Both albums in the Top 11 Reggae albums of the year in Record Collector

Congratulations to all the team involved

Western Stars The Bands That Built Bristol Vol 1 – Rereleased

Friday, December 28th, 2012



RERELEASED 18th February 2013



Bristol Archive Records

Awash with 40th birthday parties, it’s been a great couple of years for viewing fat, sag and follicle loss amongst Bristols ‘we’re going to make it’ set of the 70′s and early 80′s. At the latest we were pre-warned by our hosts (including Gareth Sager -Pop Group, Rip Rig and Panic Kevin (Ebo) Evans- Colour Tapes) to anticipate the onset of the ageing process. So I squeezed into a pair of leathers, applied layers of slap and prayed for dim lighting….. and do you know it plain didn’t matter. The Tabernacle, Notting Hill was simply oozing with Bristol-weaned artistic talent. From a Make up artist on Eastenders to Dexter Dalwood – Cortinas now an internationally acclaimed artist, what these people shared was a Bristol Music past that must of made an impact long before the Bristol Sound was invented. Unfortunately together with physical deterioration, memory loss is a big set back for the over 40′s or is it simply that the 60′s catchphrase about not really having been there if you remember it, applies to all decades. In either case, try and get people to remember back then and you get lots of ‘I always stuck to the Dug Out carpet’ and not much more.

My very first experience of bands and such like was gawking at my friends brothers band Exiguus Mus containing Ben Young  (pre Cold Storage entrepreneurism) and the dabblings of Tony Moore (of Eurovision Fame!).  I really can’t remember the music but it was probably of the ‘progressive’ genre. In search of a more diverse musical education and boys that wore Ben Shermans, I joined Youth Clubs and lent against palm trees at Tiffany’s hoping for a musical awakening. No sooner positioned than some boys I knew got a gig ‘up the Youth Club. ‘It was my first local live experience and although Jeremy Valentine was the butt of my newly discovered sharp tongue (I adamantly deny having ever snogged him), I had to concede that together with Mike Fewins, Nick Shepherd, Danny Swan and Dexter Dalwood, The Cortinas were on the road to somewhere.

Now Mark Stewart, who I had considered extremely uncool as I was the only girl at his Birthday party at which his Mother produced a Birthday cake, announced his intention to ‘gig.’  The Pop Group’s first outing was at Tiffany’s and I was there, ready to ‘take the piss’. Instead I came away hooked, hooked on the music, hooked on the rock and roll dream and hooked on the endless possibilities for boys. The Pop Group rise to fame and the esteem with which they are revered today is well documented and the Birthday incident now replaced in my memory by one of Mrs Stewart standing next to Ian Dury at a Pop Group ‘event’ at Hope Centre. Jeremy Valentine, a bitten off ear, a punkette and presumably Shane McGowan (as he has been credited with the incident), for me it was the first time someone I knew appeared in the national music press.

Meanwhile other groups were emerging on the Bristol circuit and with them my realisation that going to watch a band didn’t need to be the intense experience that Maestro’s Sager and Stewart would have us believe. The Spics were my first love, not only were they graced with a plethora of good looks (I can’t look at Michaelangelo’s David to this day without remembering John Shennan), but their music was fun, I could dance to it (they did a mean version of Springsteen’s-Fire, before The Pointer Sisters) and Wendy, Sarah and Jo’s backing vocals introduced me to a previously unknown concept, that girls could do it too.  The back bar of The Lion, Cliftonwood, once I’d found it, was the place to hang. The glitterati met and talked in loud voices of big name supports and ‘pie in the sky ‘ record deals, but here too ‘yet-to-be exploited’ innovations were realised.  Bands were formed, shuffled and renamed. No one had any money, signing on was fine if you said you were a poet, all our clothes were from second hand shops and DIY record production was the toast of the day. Heartbeat, Fried Egg, Wavelength recorded The Spics, Shoes for Industry, Various Artists, Gardez Darkx, The Europeans, The Untouchables, Wild Beasts, Essential Bop and more.  Avon Calling became the first Bristol compilation album and in the absence of anyone spotting my potential as a lead vocalist, I became the first female DJ down the Dug Out Ah, the Dug Out, unique and never cloned, a club for non-clubbers, where chatting was easy and disco scorned. Where Indie could be mixed with Reggae and Glaxobabies back to back with Joe Loss (1979- I did it first!).  From then chronological order  becomes blurred. Mike ‘Spic’ knew some people moving into a house in Redland, they needed a sixth. I was that girl, although I seriously doubted my sanity on first meeting Neil and Richard (at least I combed my hair on a regular basis), but Matthew was quite cute. They’d moved in together to form a band and after much deliberation and Pils quaffing in The Kensington, became The Electric Guitars.

The house was a pigsty, the basement a rehearsal room and the kitchen a health and safety hazard. (Why Gary Clail broke in and nicked our baked beans is a mystery to this day.)  Proverbially ‘starving in their garret’ these boys produced a new genre of music and stage presence that took Bristol by storm. At some point the innovative Video Bar, down the Dug Out was Rockfords Restaurant and who better to staff it than Bristols wannabes. Amongst others Mandy Joseph (Art Objects Muse) Mandy Stewart (Scream and Dance), Mike Smith, (Joe Public, Circus Circus) and Ian Mullard (Circus Circus) cooked and waited between gigs. Yours truly not content with the decks downstairs, and the griddle upstairs promoted bands on Wednesday nights, Pete Brandt’s -Slow Twitch Fibres amongst them. We cooked and partied, Green Rooms, The Stonehouse and later Carwardines. Out of towners came proving we were with the groove Echo And The Bunnymen, Paul Young’s Q Tips, U2 at Redland Teacher Training College. Sometime along the way I DJ’d at Trinity Hall, supporting the likes of The Cramps and The Thompson Twins.

Wavelength metamorphisised into The Bristol Recorder, brainchild of Martin Elbourne, Jonathan Arthur and Thos Brooman (sometime drummer, once WOMAD overlord). Where other Independents had failed trying to promote more than one up-and-coming band at a time, a clever gimmick (then) of incorporating an ad filled magazine between the covers, aimed to fund this compilation album of local bands. The high quality music became staple diet at my Monday night Dug Out slot, returning the compliment, Recorder 2 mentioned the Dug Out to be ‘excellent with Jill at the controls.’(Spelling forgiven). By the time Recorder 3 appeared, the eighties had begun to take hold and with it a crisis of confidence in the local scene. Major record companies ate ‘indies’ for breakfast, the recorder used The Thompson Twins to boost sales and potential Bristol Sounds were swallowed by way of Tax loss. Pigbag made Top of the Pops, but that didn’t have the knock on effect that Massive Attack has had today. I moved to London and partied with Shane McGowan, The Higsons and tried to set up an Independent record company with Speedy Keen (Thunderclap Newman), our showcase act Cold Fish dumping us for the first Major that made them an offer, never to be heard of again..(Pete Howard re-emerged with Nick Shepherd in The Clash, who incidentally have  a lot to thank me for, I was obviously the catalyst!) Returning to Bristol with big city ideas.  I promoted new bands (Brilliant Corners) at the new function bar Upstairs (above the Dug Out), tried the ‘Club one nighter, ‘The Dug Down Too Far’ ahead of my time, band management (Tootin’ Crocodiles) and gradually gave up DJ’ing. No way was I getting into that scratching business and ruining my vinyl. (Anyway some geezers calling themselves The Wild Bunch seemed to have that all sewn up).When the lights went on that night at The Tabernacle, the 80’s survivors were revealed and in the corner was a forty year old woman beating herself over the head for giving up DJ’ing at a giddy peak of eight quid a night. (Press release by Gill Loats currently writing the words for a Book on ‘Punk to Funk Bristol Boys Make More Noise’)

Track listing:

Glaxobabies                        This Is Your Life

Gardez Darkx                      Bliss

The Spics                             You & Me

The Numbers                      Alternative Suicide

Electric Guitars                   Continental Shelf

Apartment                            The Car

Shoes For Industry            Invasion Of The French Boyfriends

Essential Bop                      Raiders Blues

Fishfood                               The Modern Dance Craze

Art Objects                           Hard Objects

The X-Certs                         Queen and Country

The Various Artists            Time Of Your Life

Talisman                               Dole Age (Extended Version)

Black Roots home town success gig

Monday, November 12th, 2012

One of the best reggae bands from the 1980s, BLACK ROOTS, performed on home turf on Saturday night (10 November) with an official album launch gig in St Pauls.

The Malcolm X Centre show was the band’s chance to translate their new record On The Ground to the stage and prove their relevance in a much-changed musical landscape since their inception in 1979.

The result on the night was… success.

The reinvigorated roots reggae group recently dropped their first studio recording for more than 20 years and fittingly played pretty much every track off the new album interspersed with occasional older material.

Classic tracks on the night such as “The Father” and “Tribal War” fitted in well with new material including recent double A 12” “Pompous Way” adding a continuing social commentary, and “Oh Mama Africa” – an upbeat song celebrating Africa. Here it is live:

With 11 musicians on stage, including six members of the original line-up (Carlton Smith, Errol Brown, Kondwani Ngozi, Jabulani Ngozi, Cordell Francis and Charlie), the sound was not muddied or overcomplicated but rather added depth and layers of instrumentation to recreate the sound of the new record.

The newer members of the band, including a skilled horn section and a suitably tight rhythm section, also showcased their skills and place among the original musicians in the group.

Here’s the Bristol band performing new track “Landscape” from On The Ground:

Here’s “Militancy”, which could have easily come from the group’s first incarnation:

Overall BLACK ROOTS were back in their classic roots groove and seemed to keep existing fans happy while appealing to a new younger generation.

The new record On The Ground (out on Sugar Shack Records) is available on LP, CD and digital download from the usual outlets including Amazon, iTunes and the Bristol Archive Records online shop.

Nubian Records has also put together the following “reggaementry”, filmed during the recording of On The Ground, and including exclusive interviews with BLACK ROOTS original members.