Monday, January 23, 2006

Channel One Soundsystem

The yearly “Big Day Out” took place in Auckland at Ericsson Stadium on January 20th and this year New Zealand reggae-heads were blessed to have the opportunity to hear and see Channel One Soundsystem from the UK.

For this session, Channel One founder, Mikey Dread, was joined on the mic by Terry Gad, who is formerly from Gloucester based soundsystem, Jah Trinity. Residents in Oz will be familiar with Jah Trinity, as Gad’s brother runs a sound by the same name based in Adelaide.

Channel One Soundsystem began around 25 years ago. After Dread inherited a soundsystem from his father and brother, he set about adding to it and building his own in his mother’s basement in London. Mikey was raised in London, but returns to Jamaica every few years to maintain connections and visit family. Channel One are an integral part of the legendary, old-school UK roots soundsystem circuit and play with other sounds such as Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti, the Iration Steppas and Jah Youth. They have played, and occupy prime position for the last 22 years at the 2nd biggest street festival in the world – the Notting Hill Carnival, held every August in London. They regularly tour around the UK and Europe, an all-time favourite gig being around 1994 or 1995 in Marseille, France, with Burning Spear, the Mighty Diamonds and Dennis Brown. A foundation goal of Channel One is to influence and inspire the youth in positive ways. Their shows are characterised by floor to ceiling speaker stacks, the heaviest of bass power and sessions with other sounds lasting for up to eight hours of classic UK roots.

Channel One played at the Lily World stage in Auckland, which was nicely sheltered from the main BDO stages and the sprawling rock crowds, which luckily meant the sounds did not interfere with each other. Channel One took to a nicely set stage bearing Jamaican flags and greenery and the crowd had a large grassy area to skank on – a perfect outdoor dancehall setting. Their set lasted for just over two hours during which time the crowd was treated to an energetic and spirited performance with Dread dropping tunes and both performers on the mic, filled with conscious messages and calling for peace and unity. Two hours was not nearly enough time to capture the true Channel One vibe, as it was obvious there was so much more to come, but it provided the large and enthusiastic audience a taster of an authentic UK roots session.

When asked for three favourite Channel One tracks, Mikey stated that Bounty Hunter by Barrington Levy, No Peace by Tena Stelin (to be released in March), and Natty Dreadlocks by Colour Red are heavily on rotation.

As this was their first visit to this part of the world, and due to their gruelling flight schedule, Mikey stated that they approached their visit to Aotearoa with a bit of apprehension. However they found the country warm and inviting and enjoyed giving the people a sample of their sound and message. When asked what he thought of the New Zealand reggae soundsystem scene, Dread was positive and analogously compared it to the New Zealand landscape when he said “It’s kind of like a volcano that’s ready to fire…you can feel the vibes…it’s like there is an underlying thing ready to happen, if it sparks it’ll blow up, and you want to be a part of that”. They expressed their strong desire to return to Aotearoa next year, with Wellington being a favoured destination spot, to experience the New Zealand sound and to help our own sounds to grow and develop. He also expressed a strong interest in learning more about Maori and Rasta culture in New Zealand.

It was a true privilege to have the opportunity to experience the Channel One sound in Aotearoa and we give thanks and praises to Mikey and Terry for making the journey. Lets hope the New Zealand reggae massive can work together to get them back to Aotearoa next year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wan't it great? It really made the day. I was pissed I didn't take my 'African Anthem' to get signed by the man. Ah well, mebbe when he comes back. I'll get behind that.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Venus said...

It was great, however this Mikey Dread from Channel One is different to the "African Anthems" Mikey Dread, who is the "Dread at the Controls" -

Both are true legends!

11:24 AM  
Blogger Simon Chamberlain said...

Hey V, this post got mentioned on Public Address (,

I was planning on coming to find you, 'cos I knew you'd be Channel One, but there was too much happening, too many people to meet...glad you had a good one...:-)

7:47 PM  
Blogger Venus said...

BTW, the link to Channel One's website is:

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give thanks. I have been ripped off of my name by this crew -Mikey Dread and "Channel One" for years and have asked them to stop but I guess they continue as a lot of promoters been mislead and they are raking in money and cant perform a Mikey Dread song!!!
Well I am making sure the info gets out there as someone needs to approach these people and stop them from plagiarizing my name.
This is not a simple thing knowing they are willfully and deliberately doing this to con the world.
I guess they thought they could get away with it.
This is a deliberate attempt to destroy my credibility, ruin my name,defraud me of any income I could make in that market as an international artist and to use my name as a means to rob people does not sit well with me.
I have studied copyright law and contracts and I know the penalty for anyone plagiarizing someone’s name, works, articles or anything like that.
Your review says that Mikey Dread has been in the business for 25 years.
Know this in 2006 I celebrate 30 years since I started Reggae Radio Broadcasting in Jamaica I am the real and original Mikey Dread/Dread At The Controls who produced the Clash, UB40(Sufferrin) worked recently on the song “Lips Like Sugar” with Seal and the owner of has been the pioneer of reggae radio since 1976 so now who is who?
I am celebrating 30 years in this professionally 1976-2006 so there you go this is fraudulent for anyone to call themselves by an existing name in the same industry. I would like to stay honest and real and not mislead the public, you should too.I want you guys to inform the people that that was not the real Mikey Dread, thanks.
I have emails from Austtralia from people thinking that that guy with Channel one was me only to email me and make me aware of this prank.
I always ask these same guys why they don’t call themselves Bob Marley or Gregory Isaacs or someone else, why Mikey Dread?
They don’t care as they were able to get away with it.
I blame the promoters and hold them as part of any lawsuit I file as they are seen as an accomplice to this as they know they can go on line and search for Mikey Dread and my website would show up.
I cant take this, this must be made public, the public should demand their money back.
You can see on my website at "concerts and events" that I will be on Tour in the USA on Thursday Feb 2 ,2006 so how could I do all of this, come to New Zealand, go to Australia and have gigs there and here in the USA at the same time?\
I will see how this works out and thanks to my fans for emailing me here in the USA and giving me the info on what is really going on!!!
One Love
Original Mikey Dread- not the clone.

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home