This week The Supernovas will be hitting London’s bustling west end and performing as part of the week-long Strummerville Regent Street Takeover, in association with Clarks Originals. On 18th February, The North London, mod powered rockers will be unplugging and putting together a more mellow set for the afternoon shoe-gazing crowd.
Playing together since they were 16, The Supernovas (Joei, frontman singer and rhythm guitarist; Columbian lead guitarist Rizo; bass supremo Panashe, and drummer Moses) have long been associated with the charity Strummerville, who last Autumn took them up and down the UK on their very first full UK tour.
The boys’ last single, City Of Smoke, released to ride shotgun with those dates, was a skanking, beat driven tale of life and love in the capital city. To support this release, a narrative video was shot by Sam Bird on the roof and inside the old Flowerpot in north London’s Kentish Town.
As an accompaniment to the 7″ release, the legendary Grammy award winning film maker Don Letts, (the man who introduced The Clash to reggae) heard City Of Smoke, and immediately remixed it, bringing his own joyous west London beats to the party. The superb Dub Cartel versus The Supernovas block party banger is currently available as a free download HERE
After a mental summer of festivals we’ve been back in town for a couple of weeks and have got straight back to work, recording some new tracks, supporting The Chords at The Garage and playing a memorable show at Inn On The Green on Sunday as part of the Carnival madness that went on in Notting Hill over the bank holiday.
Then, yesterday (2nd) we hit 93 Feet East in Brick Lane with Strummerville brethren Nimmo And The Gauntletts and were spurred on by the news that our first official national tour has been announced in the form of the STRUMMERVILLE: WESTWAY ROUND THE UK TOUR which kicks off on October 10th!
As you can imagine, we are all really excited about this and cannot wait to get on the road and start playing consecutive dates around the country! We will be playing alongside our friends Rum Shebeen (who’s new single ‘I’m An Old Punk/Tropical’ has been getting regular airplay on John Kennedy’s Xposure show) and Beans On Toast (who might as well be the show’s producer – he’s on there that much!)
To coincide with the Tour, we will be releasing City Of Smoke on October 3rd, the video of which can be viewed below…
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Keep it dribbling.
After taking a few days to get over the whole experience, I can honestly say that I think that this was the best Glastonbury that I’ve ever been to.
There wasn’t even any rain.
That might not sound like the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard heard but it was the first time that I’ve ever experienced this phenomenon and this was my 7th time there!
For The Supernovas, our Glastonbury really got started on the Pyramid Field on Thursday for the annual Glastonbury World Cup. We were the post-match entertainment, playing a completely unplugged acoustic set to the crowd after he match. It was essentially busking for WaterAid. Or at least that was the plan.
It was all going swimmingly until half way through our second song when the people in charge of the Pyramid Stage decided it’d be a good idea to start sound-checking the speakers, meaning that not even with us singing at the top of our voices could we be heard over the gigantic speakers. Speakers that were to be used for the likes of Muse and Stevie Wonder over the coming days!
With this, we decided to take a short walk to find a more suitable spot where we could play a slightly more more ‘intimate’ unplugged gig to the 25 or so people that could be bothered to travel for it. And as luck would have it, we managed to find an empty bench outside the ‘Churros And Chocolate’ stall which suited the occasion perfectly.
So we finished our set there and headed back off into the wilds of Glastonbury, being sure not to get too carried away as we’d have to stay fresh for the 2 remaining gigs on the Strummerville Campfire Stage on Friday and Sunday night.
I didn’t see many acts over the weekend but all of the ones that I did get to see were fairly impressive, not least Snoop Dogg who turned out to be the only person I did get to see on the Friday. I was also hoping to see The Bootleg Beatles headline the Acoustic Stage as well (they were my must-see band of the weekend) but alas it was not be as we were asked to record 2 songs for the BBC’s coverage of the festival which never made it onto the television screens So relative disappointment all-round there.
This initial disappointment was cured however by the success of our first full-band set of the weekend. We opened with a cover of The Clash’s ‘I’m So Bored With The USA’ – a trick we often perform at Strummerville gigs, it puzzles me why no-one else ever seems to do any Clash covers at those events? Maybe it’s a bit too obvious? – and blitzed our way through the rest of our 20 minute set to a great reception and left the stage with 4 big smiles on our faces.
It was at this point that I decided to have my only heavy night of debauched fun as it was the only night that I wouldn’t have a gig the next day. So I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and went on an excursion with my good friend Dominic of The Others, a few of his accomplices and our very own Rizo.
Many sleepless hours and numerous Satsumas and Tangerines later I crawled out of my tent feeling like Death and covered in sweat. A true dose of Glastonbury Fever. I then went down to the Green Fields and had my Tarot Cards read by a man who basically told me that there was a chance that I could end up in control of my finances but that most of the cards were upside down so it could mean either that or the complete opposite. Very interesting point of view indeed.
I then went to see Neville Staple on the West Dance Stage who was my act of the weekend (although he was better on the Shangri-La that night). I had hoped to see Jerry Dammers as well but unfortunately it didn’t materialise and we went to see The Cribs instead. Johnny Marr is God. It’s a fact.
Then after going and getting some Fish, Chips and Gravy I headed down to the John Peel Stage to have a look at Jamie T who played a sped-up set to a packed-out tent. It was also funny to see Louis who used to work in Nambucca on stage with him.
On my way back to the Strummerville Campfire, I managed to duck into the Avalon Stage and catch the second of The Lightning Seeds which was a great moment. Every song is a classic with them.
The next day I woke up and headed down to the Strummerville Campfire for a couple of drinks before going to hear Tony Benn speaking on the Leftfield. It’s amazing how a man so old can be so on-the-ball in comparison to the tossers that are in mainstream politics today. If David Miliband does (as everybody expects him to) win the Labour leadership then we would be in a situation where we would have to choose between him, Clegg and Cameron at the next General Election. Hardly much of a choice is it? If they were to swap their ties around then you wouldn’t know which one was which!
As soon as the debate in the Leftfield ended, I went to watch the England vs Germany match. It was interesting to see how a group of over-paid “world-class” egos would fair up against a young, relatively inexperienced group of players that worked as a team. 4-1 Germany. Nuff said.
As keen as I was to watch the match, I unfortunately had to pay the price of missing Ray Davies for it. I had planned to leave at half time but when England scored and then had that goal disallowed just before half time, I thought it would turn into an exciting match so I decided to stick around for the rest of it. False alarm. They played well for about the first 5 minutes of the second half and then folded back into the display they’d put on for the majority of the first half.
After getting a bit of dinner in me and heading back the tent for a few drinks, before long it was time for Toots and the Maytals on the West Holts Stage who were brilliant. It was great to see how in synch the band were with what he was thinking. He commanded them very well.
As soon as they were finished, we headed round to the Pyramid Stage to get a decent spot for Stevie Wonder who closed the stage with perfection. But how did he know where that microphone was when he first walked on?!? Literally amazed.
We then all headed back to the Strummerville Campfire for the last set of the weekend. Ours. This gig was a bit more like a headline show than on the Friday and as it was the last of the weekend, we decided to play for a bit longer. After “finishing” with Slaughter In The Gaza, we invited Trish Whelan of Strummerville up to say a few words before dedicating Ace Face (Link below) to her.
Can’t wait til next year!