Reggae Concert at the Edinburgh Festival (1973)

Back in 1973, the skinhead boom was already fading out and the reggae scene was becoming more and more divided into roots reggae and, let’s say, a more commercial/pop reggae to fit in the market. That year, The Old Grey Whistle Test, a BBC2 television music show, presented a special episode featuring well known reggae artists at the Edinburgh Festival. These artists included: The Cimarons, Winston Groovy, Dennis Alcapone, The Marvels, Nicky Thomas and The Pioneers, while the host was no other than Judge Dread himself.

Edinburgh1 Edinburgh2

The Cimarons

The Cimarons here feature Carl Lewis on vocals, Locksley Gichie on guitar, Franklyn Dunn on bass, Carl Levy on keyboard and Maurice Ellis on drums. They only perform one song, Ain’t no sunshine (when she’s gone), but they are the backing band of the rest of the artists, except The Pioneers who are backed by Malaka.

Their looks, typical early 70’s gear: penny round collars, suede fabrics, platforms, flared (and tight!) trousers.


The Cimarons


Locksley and Franklyn


Carl, Locksley, Maurice

Winston Groovy

Winston Tucker, a.k.a., Winston Groovy shows us in this concert that he is one of the smartest and most handsome men in Reggae. Wearing a penny collar shirt with floral pattern, a suit and platforms, he performs I’m a believer, a very nice reggae tune released in the UK in 1973 on the Trojan’s subisidary Explosion.


Winston Groovy


Locksley, Carl

Dennis Alcapone

Then is the turn of Mr. Dennis Alcapone. Over the Drum Song riddim, he performs Cassius Clay and the toast is absolutely brilliant. He also performs Wake up Jamaica, the DJ cut to Joya Landis’ Moonlight Lover.

Dennis wears a pointy collar sheer shirt with floral embroidery(!!!), 70’s polyester jacket, black flares and platforms. Fashion is fashion.


Dennis Alcapone. Passion


Dennis Alcapone backed by The Cimarons


Crowd ;)

The Marvels

This group consisted of Nell Hinds, Eddie Smith and Alex “Dimples” Hinds and I tend to think that they were the most pop-reggae group in this concert. They perform two songs, one sang by Alex (Jimmy Browne) and one by Nell (One Monkey). I must admit I’m not a big fan of this style but the riddim and their energy is quite contagious.


The Marvels

Ein, zwei, drei! Don’t know their connection to the German language lol, and I can’t find Jimmy Browne on Youtube

Nicky Thomas

What happens to Nicky in this performance? He’s very excited to say the least! Nicky Thomas was definitely one of the most famous artists and Love of the Common People was a big hit; we can tell that by the response of the public, who seem to go crazy when he appears on stage.

Nicky performs two tunes, Is it because I’m black? and Love of the common people, wearing a craaazy jumpsuit and jacket.


A very sweaty Nicky Thomas




Excellent crowd

The Pioneers

The Pioneers are one of my favourite groups and I love them but I find it rather odd that they only perform cover versions when they also had their own tunes. They sing Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher and The Temptations’ Papa was a rolling stone backed by the band Malaka, but i’ts nice to see George doing the falsettos.


The Pioneers


Jackie, George and Sydney




Trojan artists on stage

Hope you have liked the post! And as always in parting, I should end the post with a tune but I think you already have too many above. Remember that you can also follow TBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See you next week!


Please Sir! (The movie)

Hello, everybody! Welcome to another ‘episode’ of The Ballroom Blitz!

So, the other day we were discussing on Facebook (don’t forget to join us on about this very popular late 60’s/early 70’s British sitcom called ‘Please Sir!‘ and, as I love the series and the movie, I decided to prepare a post; even though I had already talked about it on the old Ballroom Blitz blog.

Please Sir! was originally a British sitcom which aired from the late 60’s to the early 70’s, but the movie is from 1971. The cast included actors and actresses like John Alderton, Deryck Guyler, the bombshell Carol Hawkins and a young Brinsley Forde, one of the founders of the Reggae band Aswad. Unfortunately, I won’t tell you anything about the plot this time but you can buy the DVD on eBay for little money. The movie is funny, entertaining and full of nice gear! If you are into the early 70’s style, it’s worth buying.

Now, focusing on what I like the most about this movie (yes, clothes!), here you can find some screenshots for your delight:

Typical early 70’s style and clothes: tank tops, dagger collar shirts, suits, etc. If you pay attention, you will see the dresses we, skinhead girls, love to wear. Proper mohair/trevira dresses with a silk hankie on the chest.

Afros and long hair ruled the world

Crew neck knit top, mini skirt, knee high boots + pothole tights, mohair dress

Sharon (Carol Hawkins)

Brinsley Forde in the back wearing a grandad cardigan

Stereotypes? That’s what I love about ‘Please Sir!’. Here you can see a greaser.

Mind you, this is not the shortest dress/skirt in the movie. One girl is all the time showing her -wait for it- knickers!

More stereotypes ha, ha, ha

Wesley (Brinsley Forde) and the cheeky grin of someone who is telling a few white lies regarding Mr. Hedges’ racism

At the bar having a beer, or two.

Brinsley dresses properly. Here you can see him wearing a button down shirt and a harrington jacket

Hells angels again…

Hmmm some people look familiar. Look at the suedeheads corner!

One of the girls above and the same boy. He wears a proper button down shirt with ‘the details’ and longer hair. The girl wears (I think) a gingham check shirt

One for the boys…

Why I think this girl is a suedehead? 1. Because of her hairstyle 2. Because of her clothes. You can only see her wearing smart clothing, with her mini skirts and shirts. And this takes me back to the same old topic, our style was (and still is) supposed to be smart, sharp and different. I don’t understand why some skinheads wear flamboyant clothes as if they were going to a dress-up party. Phewww…

Anyway. Every story has a happy ending…

… Or not!

And as always in parting, a nice little tune

TOTP goes Reggae

[Taken from the old The Ballroom Blitz blog on Blogspot]

I really like watching videos of Top Of The Pops on Youtube as it’s a good way to check out clothes and music from the period. Top of the Pops was a British music program that showed weekly performances of popular music artists, crowd dancing to tunes and also a rundown of the chart hits of the week.

TOTP 1971

The other day I was thinking about what to post and then I remembered some Reggae performances on this program, then looking for more information, I realised that there are already articles about this. Anyway, I’ll try to add some new things…

The program broadcast from 1964 until 2006, with several Jamaican music perfomances, especially in the 70’s. This time I would like to focus on the period from 1970 until 1975.


I think that in this year there were no live performances of Reggae music. However, Reggae was popular and in this video you can watch two tiny extracts from two episodes where people dance to Elizabethan Reggae by Boris Gardiner (min. 0.56) and to You can get it if you really want by Desmond Dekker (min. 0.59). The first one is from 19th February and the second one is from 10th September.


As Tony Blackburn would say “It’s quite nice to have a brand new number one record, particularly when it’s as good as this!”

This episode is from 29th April and in my opinion it’s the best. Top performance, I love the way they show off… And clothes were so beautiful in that year ♥! At the end of the video you’ll listen to Jig-a-Jig by East of Eden with some crazy chicks dancing to it… in knickers!

Later, in 1st July 1971, the reggae band Greyhound also performed their hit Black and White. Thanks to Del for reminding me this one.


Moog Reggae in this live perfomance from 25th January. I love Dandy’s outfit. Prince of Wales suit and penny collar shirt, great style!


Meowww… Ken wearing a catsuit! This was broadcast on Christmas and Ken Boothe’s gestures are definitely great. (Ignore the joke at the start of the video).

Jumpsuits rule!


Although I don’t like this song too much, it is a nice perfomance from 10th April.

This woman was so pretty and her afro was lovely!

Another perfomance by a Jamaican artist in TOTP might be this one of Desmond Dekker. This seems to be part of a lost episode from 18th September.