9 Old School Photos Of Reggae Artists In London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 9 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

9 Old School Photos Of Reggae Artists In London
Lee Perry at Ariwa Studios, 34 Whitehorse Lane, 31 October 1984. © David Corio

Most of the world's great reggae artists have recorded and performed in London at some point.

These images by photographer David Corio capture musicians including Lee Perry, Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown in the throes of a performance, putting in time at the studio or simply chilling on the city's streets.

Dennis Brown and Freddie McGregor backstage at UK Sunsplash, Clapham Common, 5 July, 1987. © David Corio

All these artists, at one time or another, recorded on the Greensleeves label — which about to be celebrated in a short exhibition in Kensington: A Reggae Music Journey — 40 Years of VP Records.

VP Records — which owns the Greensleeves back catalogue — started out life as a small store in Kingston, Jamaica, growing to become a driving force in pushing reggae and dancehall artists into the mainstream.

Eek A Mouse performing at Dingwalls, Camden Town, London on 15 May 1984. © David Corio

The exhibition — on at the Jamaican High Commission from 29 October-1 November — tells the story of VP's history in Jamaica and the US, featuring notable album sleeves, photos of the original record store — and spotlights on Dennis Brown & Greensleeves.

(It's worth pointing out that the photos in this article do not feature in the exhibition, so just enjoy these here.)

Gregory Isaacs performing at The Venue, Victoria Street, 19 November 1982. © David Corio

Two panels also feature as part of the show: The Impact of Reggae & Dancehall on the UK Music Scene with Mykaell Ryley (moderator), Bigs (Rockers LDN, NTS) and Carter van Pelt (Director of Catalogue Development, VP Records) is on 29 October.

That's followed on 30 October by Reggae & Dancehall in the Digital Era with Paulette Long (moderator), Seani B (BBC Radio 1Xtra), Randy Chin (President, VP Records) and Laura Moat (UK Head of Digital, ADA).

Half Pint on Brixton Road, Brixton, 6 March 1986. © David Corio
King Jammy (r) & Junior Murvin (l) at Greensleeves Records, Goldhawk Industrial Estate, Brackenbury Road, W6 on 13 October 1986. © David Corio
Barrington Levy on City Road, London, EC1 on 9 March 1984. © David Corio
Shabba Ranks at St Raphael’s Estate, Henderson Close, NW10 on 17 January 1990. © David Corio
Sugar Minott performing at The Ace, Brixton Hill, Brixton, 4 November 1983. © David Corio

A Reggae Music Journey — 40 Years of VP Records, Jamaican High Commission, Kensington, 29 October-1 November (11am-5pm), free, just turn up

Check out David Corio on Instagram as @david.corio, and online

Last Updated 23 October 2019