Mykal Rose – The Sounds of Black Uhuru (1977-1985)
Saturday 18th February 2018
@ District, 61 Jordan Street, Liverpool

Last year I was kicking myself for missing Positive Vibration’s Festival of Reggae because I managed to double-book myself.  Everyone I speak to who attended tells me that it was the stuff of legend.

So this year, I was determined I was going, I secured tickets as soon as they became available, and started counting the days.  After agreeing to photograph a friend of the families Wedding, I had a bad feeling about the date – sure enough it’s the same weekend!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking fwd to shooting the wedding, just why did it have to be on the same weekend!

But all is not lost, Positive Vibration has plenty of gigs throughout the year, not to mention Reggae Socials.

Tonight was Mykal Rose, the voice of Black Uhuru from 1977-1985.  Though I wasn’t particularly familiar with his/their work, a quick listen on spotify confirmed that it was a gig well worth checking out.

I love the atmosphere of Positive Vibration gigs, always a happy vibe, lots of people having a fab time, never any trouble, and above all, great music!

The band were tight, the guitarist in particular sounded more like a rock guitarist at times, but it worked.  The quality of material high, and the 90 minutes spend by, leaving me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

From his website: Michael Rose has been recording and performing his brand of militant, hardcore Jamaican music to the delight of reggae fans around the world. As a solo artist, with Black Uhuru, and back as a solo artist, the “Ruff” Rose has achieved great success throughout his career, even as different Jamaican musical styles have phased in and out of popularity.

Perhaps the highest profile recognition came in 1984, when Michael Rose and the other Black Uhuru members (Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare) won reggae’s first Grammy award for the album, Anthem. But the story doesn’t begin with Black Uhuru. In 1976, Michael Rose was already a seasoned performer, having honed his skills by performing on Jamaica’s hotel circuit.  Check it out here.


Words (aside from website quote) and Pictures by John W. King