Friday, August 2, 2013
Musical Youth Members Reunite For New Album & Tour
Thirty years on since "Pass The Dutchie" stormed charts around the world, Musical Youth are working on a new album. The Birmingham-based band – featuring original members Michael Grant and vocalist Dennis Seaton – plan to celebrate the milestone with the release of a series of EP's titled "When Reggae Was King," featuring a collection of classic covers which inspired them. The first single, a cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Harder They Come" is now available for streaming and download. The duo have also pulled together a backing band and will play a number of high profile U.K. shows including appearances at Camp Bestival this weekend and again at Bestival in September.
I have nothing but great memories of Musical Youth and I distinctly remember being very excited to hear them played on American radio at exactly the same time that I was becoming totally obsessed with all things ska and reggae (Madness, The Police and UB40 were also getting some American radio play at the time which heartened me to no end). Though my family didn't have MTV, the video for 'Pass The Dutchie' (which was directed by Don Letts and became the first video by a Black musical act to appear on MTV) was bright and fun and it was hard not to like the band who despite their young age were actually playing their own instruments. While most everyone knows 'Pass the Dutchie' (even Homer Simpson referenced it in an episode of The Simpsons) few people have any idea what happened to the British-Jamaican kid group after their 1982 hit—or are aware that they were not just a pop novelty act but actual musicians who played all of their own instruments and wrote some of their own material (namely 'Youth Of Today' which is very catchy). Check out the interview Seaton and Grant gave recently about their experiences and read more about the band's 15 months of fame in the early 80's here.
The band played a warm-up gig earlier this summer in Lewisham in the U.K., including their calling card as well as their version of Sugar Minott's "Good Thing Going" from their upcoming EP.