Friday, 12 February 2010

Broadwater Farm

Don't just respect the rich and the dead. Show some respect to the poor and the living ... that is the gist of the message Junior Delgado sings on Broadwater Farm, a 12" from 1985 that highlighted tensions on the estate a short time before the Tottenham Riots. Look up any reference to Junior Delgado on the internet and you will surely see a reference to this track, how it prophesised the disturbances, and how it was subsequently banned. If you want to get hold of a copy now, one of the original 12"s will set you back more than a week's unemployment benefit. There's an irony there somewhere. One of the great Jamaican vocalists, Junior Delgado spent many years living in London, and indeed died here in 2005. The first time I really caught up with his work was on an excellent compilation put out by London legend Adrian Sherwood, on his short lived Sound Boy label in 2003. Junior Delgado was for many years closely associated with Dennis Brown, another reggae legend who spent a lot of time in London. The photo, and it has to be by the great Jeanette Beckman who I hope won't mind it being used here as part of London's history, features them both at the old Acklam Hall in 1979. Another London legend Penny Reel wrote a great biography of Dennis Brown focusing on his time in and associations with the Capital, called Deep Down with Dennis Brown, which is one of the best music books around. Here's Dennis performing in Crystal Palace Park way back in 1984 at a massive London Sunsplash event ...


  1. FYI Dennis Brown lived in Ponders End,Enfield for a bit in the 80s.


  2. Excellent. Lovely detail. Thank you.