Misty In Roots
Part of the London International Ska Festival running from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th April 2017
Early bird tickets available stocks last!!
Emerging from 1970s London, Misty In Roots are one of the finest reggae acts the world has seen. A fact born out in last year’s BBC 6 music documentary by Don Letts. Commonly known as John Peel’s favourite reggae band (who they record 9 BBC Radio One sessions for!), they were also major force in the Rock Against Racism movement.
They first came together in 1975 as a backing band for the late, great Nicky Thomas – one of Jamaica’s all time greats who had achieved national chart success with Love of the Common People. Nicky Thomas was the inspiration from which Misty developed.
By 1978 Misty In Roots began to develop their own orthodox roots reggae sound. Their powerful lyrics inspired by the economic decline, a growing awareness of their African culture and a spiritual awakening born out on the band’s stunning debut album Live at the Counter Eurovision, which is cited as one of the greatest live reggae albums ever.
During the period 1977/78 the political situation in the U.K. was a breaking point. Black consciousness was at its peak and racism roamed the streets of London. Unemployment was affecting both black and white youths and through this depression a new musical alliance was born, young white youths totally fed up with the status quo turned to playing punk music whilst at the same time identifying strongly with the British reggae acts as Misty In Roots, Steel Pulse and Aswad. With the coming of the ‘Rock Against Racism’ movement the musical fight-back had begun and for the first time black and white musicians were playing together on the same platform bringing about a totally new concept in musical awareness. This opened up a whole new audience for the band who quickly developed a very strong cross over audience, playing with acts such as Tom Robinson, The Ruts (who’s debut release Misty funded) and Elvis Costello.
The band’s second album Wise and Foolish released in 1982 took on more mellow, jazzy and soulful tone. Driven by their determination to remain independent the band took a major step into Africa spending nine months in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The period had a major impact on the development of Misty’s following two albums Earth (release in 1983 – a moving musical documentation of the devastation caused to mother Earth by mankind because of greed, cruelty and ignorance) and Musi O Tunya (released in 1985 was a reflection of the band’s love for Africa).
1989 saw the release of their fifth album Forward which saw Misty reach the heights once again.
Now, well into their fifth decade, we can look back over the works of Misty In Roots and see how immense the combined talents of this cooperative group, producing uplifting righteous music for all to hear. We are truly honoured to have them headlining day 1 of The London International Ska Festival 2017.
The London Intl Ska Festival 2017, now into its 29th anniversary year, celebrates all things Ska, from its roots in mento, calypso and rhythm & blues, through its Jamaican originators and onto rocksteady, reggae, dub, 2 Tone, skapunk and beyond. Our 2017 edition features over 100 acts across 30 events in the capital. Headliners include; Misty In Roots, Freddie McGregor, King Jammy, Dave & Ansel Collins, The Pioneers, Owen Gray, Channel One sound system, Pama International, Roy Ellis/Symarip, 2 Tone’s Dance Craze film (70mm screening), Carroll Thompson, Bitty Mclean, Christopher Ellis, Rhoda Dakar and many more!
Festival tickets can be bought here.
Free entry for London Intl Ska Festival 2017 wristband holders.