Friday, October 31, 2008
The Caribs - Caribbean Capers
We all know the familiar black and white checkers of 2 Tone and that it stands for racial unity - particularly between blacks and whites in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s. Most of the bands were made up of both black and white musicians, and it is commonly accepted that they were playing traditionally black music with a new white influence.
It could be said , however, that the roots of the 2 Tone concept go way back - even before ska music came into its own.
Jamaica's first studio band was The Caribs who played and recorded in Kingston from 1958 to 1968. And though they are recognized as one of the first bands to ever play the ska sound they were in fact formed in Australia and were made up of only white musicians. They started playing clubs in Surfer's Paradise, Queensland in the late 50s and already were using the name The Caribs. They played calypso and mento and experimented with other Caribbean folk sounds.
In 1958 their manager Max Wildman was offered a job running a new hotel in Jamaica and he agreed as long as he could bring the Caribs with him. Only three members - Dennis Sindrey (guitar), Peter Stoddart (piano), and Lowell Morris (drums) made the move. They were joined by bass player Lloyd Brevett who later joined the Skatalites and other local black musicians and began incorporating ska into their set in effect becoming the first 2-tone ska band. They became a regular act at the Glass Bucket Club where they performed for Errol Flynn, Che Guevara, and even Winston Churchill amongst others.
When Jamaican studios first went into business the Caribs were in demand as a support group for Owen Gray, The Jiving Juniors (the Caribs was the band playing on the hit 'Lollipop Girl'), and lots of other acts including Laurel Aitken. They worked with producers Simeon Smith, Chris Blackwell, and Coxsonne Dodd.
As usual I can't find much information on the internet about them. I don't know what year this album was recorded or what other releases they have under their own name. I was happy to find this record on THIS site. Many thanks to them.
01 The River
07 Sammy Dead Medley
08 I Wish You Love
10 Let's Go
11 Sand in My Shoes
12 Yellow Bird Medley
Studio One engineer Graeme Goodall was the sound engineer on most of their releases as well as the Skatalites, Jimmy Cliff, and Bob Marley and the Wailers, and he himself was also Australian.