Dub music pioneer Lee '˜Scratch' Perry to join The Undertones at Wearside festival

A reggae pioneer famed for his work with Bob Marley will top the bill at a Wearside festival this summer.

Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 11:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 12:31 pm
Lee 'Scratch' Perry

Legendary Jamaican musician Lee “Scratch” Perry, dubbed the godfather of dub after laying the foundations for genres including reggae, dub and ska with his innovative sound, will perform at Riverside Live.

The 80-year-old artist and producer will take to the stage at Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street, on August 28 as the successful festival returns for a second year.

Lee 'Scratch' Perry is hailed as a dub pioneer

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The festival’s booking agent Ben Yeowart said: “Seeing Lee strut his stuff at the age of 80 is something the audience will be telling their future grandchildren about. ‘All-time great’ is not a description to bandy about lightly, but Lee’s music is in just as good shape as he is. I love watching the show he puts on, he has this incredible back catalogue of songs.

“His music means so much to people because it stands alone. He’s a towering figure in the music scene and a true pioneer of, not just reggae, but also dub and ska.”

Grammy Award winner Scratch, who has worked with everyone from Bob Marley to the Beastie Boys, will be performing his 1976 album, Super Ape, at the park.

He’ll be joined on the bill by The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, The Undertones, The Ordinary Boys, The Ska Vengers, Beth Macari and 100% Overproof, with more acts due to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The Undertones

Last year’s inaugural festival, which is organised by Stanley Events, drew in thousands to see Jam bassist Bruce Foxton with From the Jam, ska legends The Selector and Mod revivalists Secret Affair.

Ben added: “We put the show on for the first time last year and attracted an audience of 3,000. It was a great response and this summer we are aiming

at a higher figure. That is why we decided to go for such a big name in the music world to top the bill and put together strong supporting talent.”

Actor and broadcaster Craig Charles made his name in the BBC’s Red Dwarf and is now one of 6 Music’s most respected DJs. His Saturday night Funk and Soul show has become so popular that he now takes it on tour around the world.

Craig Charles at Big Chill 2009

The Undertones celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2016, and will mark the milestone with a variety of live performances of some of their biggest hits, including the legendary Teenage Kick, at festivals and clubs throughout the world.

After working with some of the UK’s best producers, The Ordinary Boys returned in 2015 with their self-titled fourth album. With no less than four top 10 UK chart singles behind them, their Britpop-influenced punk has made them a popular live act.

Hailing from Delhi in India, The Ska Vengers meld ska with elements of dub, punk, jazz and rap to come up with a form of music that is hailed as refreshingly different.

Giving the festival a local edge is Newcastle’s Beth Macari, who can be seen fronting the house band for Sky One’s Bring The Noise, and is one of the region’s best up-and-coming soul singers.

The Ska Vengers

Meanwhile, DJ Seamus and his 100% Overproof crew will be supplying a retro dance vibe with their classic soul, funk, and reggae, punctuated with underplayed gems.

•Tickets for Riverside Live are £30 from http://www.riversidelive.org/

The Ordinary Boys
Lee 'Scratch' Perry is hailed as a dub pioneer
The Undertones
Craig Charles at Big Chill 2009
The Ska Vengers
The Ordinary Boys