Classic reggae and R&B soul songs such as “Shine”, “Good Thing Going” “Next to You” and the UK number one, “Don’t Turn Around” will echo around Bedlington this summer as Aswad are announced as the headline act in the Gallagher Park Live Festival.
Building on the success of the immensely popular Northumberland Live series of festivals, Gallagher Park Live is a free event set to entertain the crowds on Saturday 18 July. The Festival’s official media partner is BBC Newcastle, radio for the north east.
After fifteen albums and two decades on the music scene, Aswad remains one of Britain’s best loved reggae bands. Aswad is renowned among reggae fans for their rich melodies and compelling harmonies, woven over hard rhythm tracks and inspired horn riffs.
Aswad (a name derived from the Arabic word for “black”) was formed in the Ladbroke Grove area of West London in 1974 and was among the first home grown acts to prove that Caribbean music could successfully take root in Europe.
After a series of successful singles and albums on Island and CBS, Aswad earned international acclaim with their reggae version of “Don’t Turn Around,” a song previously covered by both Luther Ingram and Tina Turner. “Don’t Turn Around,” released on Island in 1988, sailed to the #1 slot on the UK National charts and was the most-played record on French radio.
Over the years, Aswad’s recordings have found them joining forces with a variety of artists, including Dennis Brown, Maxi Priest, Hugh Masakela, Shabba Ranks, and Sly & Robbie’s Taxi Gang. The band has toured extensively, playing to packed houses in such diverse locales as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Montego Bay’s Reggae Sunsplash to West Africa, Israel and Japan.
Ron Thornton, Clerk for East Bedlington Parish Council, the organisers of the event said:
“We’re bringing the sounds of the Caribbean to Gallagher Park with fun for all the family. We’re looking forward to an enjoyable, family affair with entertainment for everyone, great live music and a wonderful community atmosphere for our residents and visitors alike.”
"Were bringing the sounds of the Caribbean to Gallagher Park with fun for all the family."
Ron Thornton - EBPC