King Of The Clubs Talk Their Way To Big Time

(Birmingham Evening Mail 21 Sep, 1983)
King of clubs talk their way to the big time

   There are not many dance floor audiences that will put up with DJs who cannot stop talking while the music is playing. Not until now, that is. For, all the signs are that "rapping" - the lyrical talking over records wildly popular in Jamaica for years, but now hitting this country - is going to be the next big disco craze.

     According to Cecil Morris, the Birmingham promoter who has brought three of the islands finest masters to rap over here for a UK tour, rapping, along with the exciting dances it inspires, is the biggest thing on the black music scene since Bob Marley.

   "The response we have had has been amazing. A thousand people were turned away from the first show at the Brixton Ace in London last week, "he said.
    "And the word has got around so fast that as well as selling out everywhere we go, we are getting lots of demands for more shows. We started out with a nine-date tour. We now have 21 shows booked."
Best disco
    The object of this adulation is the Gemini Sound System --- probably the best disco outfit in Jamaica.
    Another DJ, the Albino Yellowman, has become such  a huge sensation that he is regarded as the biggest act after Bob Marley. But while he is a sole performer, the Gemini is an intricate team.
   The conventional British DJ is a solo operator who selects his own music, puts it on the turntable while delivering some banal spiel to his audience, and then twiddles the knobs to determine how loud he wants it.
  If he is technically-minded or really up with the times, he might try a little mixing of tracks. But that is about it.
    A set-up like the Gemini, on the other hand, is quite different. It's a sound system with special tasks for each of the crew members.
     The Gemini is a five-piece. There is Papa Gemini   -- The Boss  --- who controls the sound and Archie, the sound selector  -- who chooses the records. Finally, there are Johnny Ringo, Welton Irie and Squidley Ranking   --- the three "toasters" - who are the stars of the show.
    All the "toasters" do is rap. The others are vital to the running of the show, but the people pay £5 a head to see.    

 home: pcrlfm.co.uk

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