World Reggae Contest winners Chainska Brassika head to North East

Chainska Brassika, winner of the World Reggae Contest, will appear at The Cluny in Newcastle on Friday, March 4.
Chainska Brassika, winner of the World Reggae Contest, will appear at The Cluny in Newcastle on Friday, March 4.

A rising UK band who were recently named as winners of the first World Reggae Contest are heading to the North East for a gig this weekend.

The show at The Cluny 2 in Newcastle on Friday is Chainska Brassika's first back in their homeland since they won the prestigious title.

Fresh off the boat from Jamaica, their second album, which is due to be released next year, was the final session which Grammy-winning producer/engineer Stephen Stewart (Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Toots & The Maytals, Third World) will run at the world-famous Harry J Studios, which is closing its doors.

The recording session was part of their prize for winning the first World Reggae Contest, held recently in Poland.

The contest has quickly become one of the most prestigious awards in world reggae, with more than 100 bands from around the globe taking part.

Fans picked the winner, and David Rodigan from BBC Radio 2 said of their choice: "Real musicians, real band, real brass section - fabulous so refreshing."

While in JA, Chainska played six shows in Kingston, Negril and Treasure Beach, and featured on Jamaican national television TVJ.

They are being brought to the North East by the Jumpin' Hot Club, whose founder Graham Anderson said they are the only UK band that can compare with Jamaican greats such as Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals and Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

"They have a great singer and full brass section and compare favourably with fellow cockney ska merchants Madness, which is why the band selected them as support for their last UK tour.

"We first had them on at The Cluny last year and we had a queue of people saying they were one of the best reggae bands they had ever seen and asking us to book them again, so here, by public demand, Chainska Brassika!"

Main support for the gig will be from the highly-acclaimed world music group the Crossings Band, made up of refugee musicians and local artists.

Also appearing is Radikal Queen, one of the most exciting spoken-word artists to emerge from the region in years, while the soundtrack for the evening will be provided by Newcastle's premier reggae squad, 100% Overproof DJs.

* Tickets to see Chainska Brassika, the Crossings Band, Radikal Queen and 100% Overproof DJs Friday at The Cluny are £8 from 0191 230 4474, or you can pay at the door.