Sunday, March 11, 2007


Good News And Bad News

First up lets' get rid of the bad news which is that I am still having big problems with my Internet connection and neither Tiscali nor Telecom are competent enough to do anything else but cash my cheques. This has meant for the last week I have suffered the cyber indignity of being connected at speeds as low as 12kbit/s, is this a record? This is somewhat like pissing against the wind, necessary but not at all rewarding. Yesterday being Saturday, I was happy to pass the day with only one or two minor problems so who knows maybe I'm back to my normal speed of 44kbits/s ! On the subject of the Internet, my regular readers will know that I'm still battling away with a 56k dial up and as such am waiting with eager anticipation for the possibility of a high speed connection, I live in a town with a population in excess of 100 000, well I learnt this last week that this is very unlikely in the near future as Telecom are reluctant to invest for the benefit of other operators. Maybe I should move?
Good news, I noticed yesterday that fileXoom were at last back on line, this of course means that all of the files should now be available again, I guess they had problems as their three day estimation turned out to be more a case of eight days. Due to this problem I have been looking around and come up with a new service that we shall be trying out this week, myDataBus.
Another good point to my forced week of down time is that I have been able to spend more time listening to music for my own pleasure, this has led to the discovery and rediscovery of some new gems that I will be sharing with you over the weeks to come. The first of which is a live recording of the man they called the Godfather of Ska, Laurel Atken. Having been born in in Cuba, 1927 he was to move to Jamaica at the age of 15 and started performing in Calypso groups. 1957 saw his first record release and the following year he started recording for Chris Blackwell's newly formed Island Records, their first single together 'Little Sheila' was to be a massive hit in Jamaica and was also the first Jamaican record to be released in the UK. His records found a home in the UK, with it's large West Indian community a result of which was that Atken moved to England in 1960 and settled in Brixton. He signed to the legendary Blue Beat label for whom he was to record over 15 singles before returning to Jamaica three years later. From here on his output was often to feature the Skatalites as backing band and included his classic 'Skinhead Train'. The rise of reggae was to make Ska sound childlike and out of date and therefore redundant so along with other Ska artists the period until the Two Tone ska revival lead by the Specials was to be spent out of the limelight. This revival was to refire the boilers in the old beast and 1981 gave him his first UK chart hit 'Rudy Got Married'. Like many artists from his generation he was at home on a stage performing and as such was regularly to be seen playing live until his death in 2005 at the age of 87. Today's songs are taken from a concert somewhere in the South of France in the late 90's, just think when listening to these songs that the man was in his late seventies, early eighties when they were recorded! Bonus track from the same gig his cover of Prince Buster's 'Al Capone'.

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