35 shows, 3 days, 1 festival – Positive Vibration: Festival of Reggae will be taking over the Melodic Distraction Radio airwaves for a full weekend of music, conversation and culture from 8th – 10th June. Running in collaboration with MCR Live and KCC Live, the broadcast features artists from around the country with Dub Defenders, Wrongtom, Dub Pistols and many more all featuring across the weekend.
Now into its 3rd iteration as a fully-fledged festival, and 5th year of running reggae focused parties, the award-winning Positive Vibration: Festival of Reggae returns once again to the Baltic Triangle. Taking place around the local area, with stages at Constellations, District and Hangar 34, the festival will marry internationally-recognised artists like Lee Scratch Perry and Roni Size with Liverpool heritage artists in the form of acts like One a Penny Sound System and Marley & Vegas.
In anticipation of the very first 3 day round-the-clock Melodic Distraction Radio broadcast, we run through a selection of five shows that will define the sounds of the weekend. From local selectors, who have spent years digging into the history of calypso, dancehall and reggae, to legends who have worked alongside Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Masters at Work – the Positive Vibration radio takeover will showcase Caribbean musical culture in unrelenting detail.
FRIDAY 19:00 – THE WRONG RADIO with Wrongtom [Tru Thoughts]
Genre-crossing, reggae-rooted producer Wrongtom is well known for his solo productions, DJ sets and collaborations including Roots Manuva, Hard Fi and Deemas J. Having released on labels the likes of Big Dada and Skylarkin’ Records, Tom has found a home at the the legendary Brighton-based label, Tru Thoughts. With a show on Resonate FM – he is no stranger to the airwaves, join him Friday at 19:00 for The Wrong Radio.
FRIDAY 21:00 – LONDON CALLING with Barry Ashworth [The Dub Pistols]
Having now entered their 22nd year, Barry Ashworth and the Dub Pistols are an institution of British reggae, jungle, dub and breaks. Having worked alongside acts like The Specials, Busta Rhymes, Horace Andy, Madness and Gregory Isaacs, the band come accredited by some of the best in the business. A London outfit through and through, Barry and co. come to Melodic Distraction Radio with a capital themed hour of vibrations.
SATURDAY 13:00 – CALYPSO CRUISE with Danny Fitzgerald [Soul Jazz / Jacaranda Records]
It would be impossible to find someone in the North West of England who has such an expansive and in-depth knowledge of Caribbean folk music as Mr Danny Fitzgerald. With two compilations out on Soul Jazz Records, Danny’s love for digging the dusty Caribbean crates is undeniable. Often found behind the decks as one half of Grooveyard, or behind the counter at Jacaranda Records, Danny is the go-to chap as a selector and a curator. Join him on a calypso cruise, Saturday lunchtime.
SATURDAY 16:00 – DEREK’S DESERT ISLAND DISCS with Count Skylarkin’ [The Disco Shed]
A personal hero of festival organiser, Rory Taylor, DJ Derek sadly passed away in 2015 after 50 years behind the booth. A cardigan wearing ex-accountant, and idolised by the likes of Don Letts and Massive Attack, Derek became a cult-hero in the reggae, ska, dancehall and R&B scene in Bristol. Having gigged together in excess of 200 times, DJ Derek and Count Skylarkin’ were about as close as two DJs can get. Since his passing, Skylarkin’ has been spinning Derek’s back catalogue in his memory. Join him for one hour of DJ Derek’s finest reggae, dub, ska and dancehall tunes.
SATURDAY 20:00 – SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM with Screechy Dan [Signet Records / Jamaica]
Screechy Dan and co. will undoubtedly become one of the most historically impactful acts to ever step foot inside the Melodic Distraction Studio. Performing alongside his band, Subatomic Sound System, Screechy will be performing his own live set before playing alongside the legendary, Lee Scratch Perry. On percussion, 81-year-old Larry McDonald is an unsung hero of the music world, having worked alongside an incredible roster of artists, spanning from the legendary Gil Scott Heron to reggae’s poster boy and all-time champion Bob Marley. Screechy on the other hand, has released with Masters at Work, the incredible duo of Louie Vega and Kenny Dope.