The Thekla Archives: 2018

Macka B's Reggae Rumble, Fiesta Bombarda presents: Macka B's Reggae Rumble

  • Thursday 11th October 2018
  • Supported by: Hotsteppas, Fat Stash


700 Website Macka B 2

Macka B was one of Britain's most influential dancehall toasters, pushing the music back toward a Rastafarian political consciousness. His rough, gravelly vocals gave him an instantly identifiable sound, and his production -- chiefly handled by Mad Professor -- updated dub reggae techniques for the dancehall age, proving that the two sounds weren't mutually exclusive. Although the vast majority of Macka B's material was devoted to spiritual and social messages, he did lighten the mood with occasional humorous novelty material. He shunned any aspirations for a commercial crossover, however, staying true to the sound and spirit of reggae's roots. His 1986 album Sign of the Times still remains a milestone of British reggae, and he continued to record for Mad Professor's Ariwa label into the new millennium. He started a sound system called Exodus with several friends, and also converted to Rastafarianism.

In 1982, he made a trip to Jamaica to take in the exploding dancehall scene, and returned to England with a new commitment to his craft. The next year, he won a competition for aspiring DJs, which led to several radio appearances and a gig with a band called Pre-Wax; their single "Maggie's Letter" was a local hit. Macka B also performed regularly for local sound systems, particularly Wassifa; a tape of one Wassifa sound-system battle found its way to the London-based Fashion Records, who gave him the chance to make his first solo record. "Bible Reader" was released in 1985, and did respectably well on the national reggae singles chart. Macka B subsequently signed with Mad Professor's Ariwa label, and issued his debut album, Sign of the Times, in 1986. An immediate hit among British reggae fans, it went on to top the reggae album charts; it was even hailed as a masterpiece in some quarters, both for its imaginative production and for the vocalist's nimble rhymes and hard-hitting social commentary. 


The Grove, Bristol BS1 4RB
Doors 7:00pm
Ages 14+

Advance tickets available from: