Prince Buster at the Camden Electric Ballroom, London
Thursday 15 July 1999

Prince Buster took Camden Town by storm. He turned back the clock with his Blue Beat and Ska. Dressed in a black leather suit, dark green turtle neck top, dark glasses and  black hat. Fans aged eighteen to sixty flocked to see Mr Blue Beat, the Electric Ballroom was packed. The Ska fans danced and drank, bare chested skinheads danced like crazy sweating in the summer heat. He sang all his hits and was backed by the pulsating beat of The Junction band. He summed up the night when he sang "Too Hot" to an enthusiastic crowd  (no air conditioning) the sweat was rolling from his bearded chin. The rhythm was in his head as he sang each song as they had been written back in the sixties. We had grooved and danced with  Gaz Mayall and the Trojans (image on right) who last played with Prince Buster at the Ballroom ten years previous, and were thrilled to be on the same bill once again. They had two members in the line up from The Top Cats, a Ska band from London. The male member Natty Bo sang a great version of  "Jericho" while Megumi "Miss Megoo", played the sax. The third band, Selecter had them moving to their electric sound and high volume Two Tone set. Then as the Junction band began to play, Gaz came on to introduce Prince Buster to the sound of "Al Capone" as the whole crowd erupted with excitement, at his long awaited arrival. For me his performance of "Shaking Up Orange Street" with the horns blasting and the crowd jumping was simply brilliant. At one point Prince Buster jumped down into the throng of dancers. Some of his younger fans managed to jump onto the stage and leapt off, like planes, into the arms of  the crowd waiting below. I doubt if we shall see the like again, the energy and pace was unbelievable.

Prince Buster and Band

Play List

Al Capone
Shaking Up Orange Street
Too Hot
Hard Man Fe Dead
Wine & Grine
Big Five
Enjoy Yourself
One Step Beyond
Over and Over
Rough Rider
60's Flyers ¦ Baba Brooks ¦ Back Tracking ¦ C.S.Dodd ¦ Doctor Bird Records ¦ Duke Reid ¦ Island Records ¦ London Gig Guide ¦ Prince Buster ¦ Rarest Ska Albums ¦ Roland Alphonso ¦ Ska Beat Records ¦ Ska CD's ¦ Skaindex ¦ Skatalites ¦ ska2soul jukebox ¦ Soul Vendors ¦ Sound System ¦ Tommy McCook ¦ Soul Index

Copyright© George Austen 1999 all rights reserved