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It was a daring move to release an LP of some of Kurt Cobain’s finest songs in a reggae style – one that could have easily backfired for artist Little Roy.

Instead, the Jamaican-born Roy breathed a new life into Nirvana classics such as Dive, Polly, About A Girl and Very Ape, drawing a new following in the process.

Battle For Seattle, released on Ark Recordings in September, shot to the top of the iTunes and Amazon reggae charts and drew rave reviews from music media throughout the world. One of the bonuses of the project was to showcase the strength of Cobain’s songwriting – to show the lyrics still worked well without the wounded screams and angry distortion. Another was Roy’s ability to take the more depressing songs and make them, at times, a little happier, a little more optimistic. The album may have dragged Rastafarian Roy, who has long maintained a cult following and a refusal to be overexposed, a little closer to the mainstream, but it was just another chapter in the story of this lifelong musician. After recording at legendary Studio One in Kingston Jamaica as a 12-year-old, Roy was on top of the Jamaican charts with Bongo Nyah while still a teen. Since then, he’s worked with the likes of Lee Scratch Perry and was highly rated by Bob Marley, who referred to him simply as ‘music’. More recently, you may have heard Roy’s hit Tribal War sampled by Nas and Damian Marley on the Distant Relatives LP. Get along to hear those years of experience combine to produce an evening of sprightly rhythms and soulful singing. No doubt you’ll be feeling irie by the end.

275 Pentonville Road, N1 9NL
Nov 17
scala-london.co.uk
£12.50
Tube: Kings Cross
 


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Little Roy, Scala, Kings Cross
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