Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Sundaze summer sessions are underway at The Southern Cross - you can check out some of Welly's best selectors spinning tunes from 3-7pm every Sunday. This Sunday 5 March check out world beats, soul, funk, dancehall and reggae with DJ's CoopaBlue and Nastyk.

Photos by CoopaBlue

Katchafire & Kora - Orientation Gig

Katchafire and Kora play the Union Hall tonight, as part of Victoria Universities’ yearly orientation. Doors open at 8pm, so get down there early to check out two of New Zealand’s big reggae groups, fresh from their performances at Soundsplash earlier this month.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Dubwize Soundsystem

Dubwize Soundsystem are one of New Zealand’s best reggae/dancehall crews. Based in the South Island, they are currently working on a new album, to follow up from the solid 2003 release – Reality Chant. Check new site, for gig guides, news on crew-members - Papa Levi, Raggadon, Iyah Far-I, Messenjah, DJ Shoozz, and Tuff Enchant - and other information.

Jimmy Cliff

Article from Australian paper, The Advertiser, about reggae legend, Jimmy Cliff. Catch him in New Zealand at New Plymouth's TSB Bowl on Saturday 18 March, as part of the Womad Summer Series, with support from Cornerstone Roots, Chico Cesar, and Lucid.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wha Gwaan

This weekend in Wellington...

Fri - The Spicetraders - DJ Manray and The Spotlight Kid @ Good Luck

Sat - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

Sun - Sundaze - Rainman and Kenese @ The Southern Cross

Baby Cham

Short interview from the Montreal Mirror with dancehall artist, Baby Cham, and his comments on his musical beginnings and politics in Jamaica.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Top Ten Selections - The Mighty Asterix

The Mighty Asterix is a legend of the New Zealand reggae scene. His MC’ing and vocal skills have seen him gain a first-class reputation both in New Zealand and internationally. Asterix began MC’ing in the early 80s in Palmerston North and was inspired by the likes of Dillinger, I-Roy, U-Roy, Dennis Brown and Frankie Paul. At the end of ‘82 he moved to Auckland and worked closely with Stinky Jim and DLT, before joining The Twelve Tribes in ‘86. Asterix eventually moved to Wellington in 2000 and now works with all of the best crews and bands in town, and has recently performed at Kaikoura Roots and Soundsplash. Masses of respect to The Mighty Asterix for his top ten track selections for February (in no particular order).

1. Living In Love – I Wayne
2. Do Unto Others – Lymie
3. Born Again – Mikey Spice
4. Glory Of God – K-5 Selassie
5. Kingdom Rise, Kingdom Fall – The Wailing Souls
6. Wake Up Mankind – Dennis Brown
7. Love And Unity – Michael Prophet
8. We Pray – The Mighty Diamonds
9. Door Peep – Burning Spear
10. Something Funny – The Wailing Souls

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wednesday Session

Stop by Seam this Wednesday night and check out a new weekly session around town - DollaMix and Gecko spinning a selection of dancehall, hiphop and reggae beats. Also watch out for their next up-coming World Series Dancehall Party - bringing the blazing, fresh tunes to the Wellington massive.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pacific Bass Culture & Sounds Almighty

Pacific Bass Culture

Duncan Taylor

Daddy Topknot

The Duke & The Mighty Asterix

Photos by Miz Ninja

A selection of shots from the Pacific Bass Culture Album Release Party which took place at Sandwiches on Friday night. The crowd was treated to a series of sets by Pacific Bass Culture, who proved they are most certainly a band to look out for in the future. Sounds Almighty Aotearoa were out in full force, playing only the choicest selection of reggae cuts and packing out the dancefloor. Respect to the crews for a big night.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Shabba Ranks

Article from the Jamaica Gleaner about veteran dancehall DJ, Shabba Ranks, and his recent releases and focus.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Weekend Dancefloor Action

Lots on this weekend in Wellington...get on out there and support the scene and enjoy the phat beats on offer.

Friday 17 - Pacific Bass Culture (6 piece electro-acoustic dub band and recent winners of Radio Active Dub Idol) Album Release with Sounds Almighty and The Mighty Asterix @ Sandwiches

Friday 17 - Tahuna Breaks (4 piece, Auckland-based dub/reggae/soul band) @ Bodega

Saturday 18 - World Series Dancehall - West Indies Cricket One-Dayer After Party - 'Big hittin Jamaican dance floor action' - Iya Far-I & DJ Dozen vs DollaMix & JahDogs Kartel @ Seam Bar, 8pm on

Saturday 18 - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

Sunday 19 - Sundaze @ The Southern Cross, 3-7pm

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Whakarongo Mai Reggae Heads

This Monday 20 February, 11pm on National Radio’s (AM 567, FM 101.3/104.5, Music Mix Show, Newtown’s Art Official reports on Soundsplash 06 - the eco reggae festival held over Waitangi weekend in Raglan.

Featuring interviews with headline artist and legendary Jamaican DJ/Toaster, Big Youth, plus Dunedin’s Renegade Sound, Wellingtons own Yardwise family, and kiwi woman Gaylene Martin, who has worked in the UK reggae business for 30 years. Also includes music from Scientist, Burning Spear, Kora, Seeed, Third World, Blackseeds and Big Youth.

Tune in for the Soundsplash report, 11pm Monday on National Radio.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Back by popular demand, the newly refurbished Southern Cross Bar on Abel Smith Street presents the Sundaze summer sessions. Every Sunday from 3-7pm, see some of Welly's best selectors - CoopaBlue, Colynjah, Don Luchito, Rainman, Kenese and Nastyk - spinning beats ranging from hiphop, funk, soul, world-music, dancehall and reggae. The nicest way to spend summer evenings.

Monday, February 13, 2006

NiceUp Tracks Of The Week

Nah Bow Down – Sluggy Ranks

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Sluggy Ranks moved to America in the late 80s and began his musical career. He has worked extensively with Easy Star Records and believes strongly in using music to spread roots, reality and culture inna the dancehall. This track features on the album Hi-Fidelity Dub Sessions – Roots Combinations, released in 2001, out on Guidance Records.

African Roots - Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood – the younger brother of Trinity – was born in Jamaica and began recording in the late 70s. He became renowned with singles such as Death In The Arena and Step It Inna Zion. In the early 80s he began working with General Saint and the two had further success with albums such as Stop That Train and Two Bad DJ. This track is the DJ version of the Johnny Clarke classic.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Reggae Runnings

Friday - The Spicetraders - DJ Manray and the Spotlight Kid @ Havana

Saturday - Downtown Brown and the Sunshine Soundsystem feat. MCs PDigss & KPZ @ Sandwiches

Saturday - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

And up and coming...

Friday 17 - Pacific Bass Culture and Sounds Almighty @ Sandwiches

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


The 2006 eco reggae festival, Soundsplash, took place at Wainui Reserve, Raglan, from 4-5 February. This festival is organised by the Motherland Collective, and has a zero-waste goal and a strong focus on environmental preservation. This year’s theme was recycling which was very much apparent by the decorations and sculptures at the venue. The Motherland Collective are dedicated to "...promotion, performance and forward movement of roots based music in Aotearoa".

This was the third Soundsplash festival to take place, and during this time it has gone from strength to strength, in both its organisation and musical line up. This year the reggae massive had the privilege to see Big Youth, Third World, and DJ Earl Gateshead (Trojan Soundsystem) along with a multitude of the best reggae, roots, dancehall and dub musicians and DJs in New Zealand.

The festival had a good turn-out of around 5000 people - a nice amount of people for the venue to accommodate. With its natural amphitheatre-like setting, ample parking and camping space and close proximity to the ocean, Wainui Reserve is the perfect setting for such an event. Along with two stages - the main-stage and the heavyweight zone - there were numerous food and local art and craft stalls, plus much needed chill out zones set amongst the grounds.

The international acts of course drew much attention. Legendary Jamaican DJ, Big Youth, was accompanied by Earl Gateshead and the two made a killer combination - Gateshead dropping the heaviest of conscious selections, backed by the classic voice and beautiful vibes of Big Youth. Third World were the last act of the festival and also did not disappoint. They performed classic tunes and showcased some superb musicianship, leaving no one wondering why they are known as one of the worlds top reggae bands. Big Youth made another appearance on the mic before the end of their set and also displayed more of his memorable foot work.

Wellington crew Yardwise laid down an hour set towards the end of the first night to a large crowd in the heavyweight area. Accompanied by the Mighty Asterix and Kthrnak on the mic, Yardwise dropped the big, heavy tunes and represented the Welly sound in top styles. Renegade Sound also played a fine set, the Dunedin/South Island based sound laying down nice dancehall-orientated selections along with some original material. All of the musicians put on first class performances, some of the other acts included House of Shem, The Midnights, Salmonella Dub, Anika Moa, DLT, Brazil Beat Soundsystem, The Open Souls, Cornerstone Roots, Kora and Katchafire.

Big ups and respect to the Motherland Collective for putting on a first-class festival with positive messages and irie vibes. We look forward to the next one in 2008.

One Love

Wellington confirmed its status as the reggae capital of New Zealand on Monday with the yearly celebration of Bob Marley's birthday and cultural unity - One Love. This year saw a record crowd of over 17,000 in attendance with Sounds Almighty, The Blackseeds and Dub Idol winners, Pacific Bass Culture, bringing the irie vibes to the masses. A nice after party at Seam Bar was also held, with a wicked set from DollaMix, and a follow-up set from Pacific Bass Culture.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Junior Gong New Zealand Gig

Big news for the New Zealand reggae massive - Damian Junior Gong Marley plays Auckland's St James Theatre on Thursday 6 April. Tickets available online at Ticket Direct.

Bob Marley Birthday Commemorations

A selection of articles documenting the celebration of Bob Marley's birthday, which took place on 6 February.

Bob Marley history on Wikipedia

BBC Article on this year's events and links to more information and sites

Washington Post article about events in Ethiopia

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Heads Up

There has been some confusion recently about the recent Channel One Sound System (UK) visit to the Big Day Out, in particular, Ch1's founding member, MikeyDread. NiceUp would just like to clarify for those that don't know, there is indeed more than one MikeyDread...

Info about Mikey Dread and the Channel One SoundSystem (UK) is online @

Michael Campbell - 'The Dread at the Controls' - Mikey Dread is also online with info and music etc @

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Long Weekend In Welly

Reggae runnings for Waitangi weekend in Wellington:

Saturday 4 - Duke Willis and Takkas @ Havana

Saturday 4 - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

Sunday 5 - One Love @ The Velodrome (Hataitai)

Sunday 5 - Sunday Sessions - dub, reggae & dancehall - King Konscious, GKO and DollaMix @ Seam, 4pm on

Monday 6 - Pacific Bass Culture @ Seam, 8pm on

One Love 2006

The Velodrome in Hataitai is the only place to be in Wellington on Monday 6 February for One Love 2006. It’s an afternoon celebration of cultural unity, love and summer, featuring Cornerstone Roots, Sounds Almighty Aotearoa and the Blackseeds. Also featuring Radio Active “Dub Idol” winners, Pacific Bass Culture. Reggae in the sun – make sure y’all check it out.