Eurovision dissenters and the making of a classic reggae album
The final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place this weekend. It is perhaps a good time to look back at a counter-event promoted by left-wing groups in Brussels in 1979, and in particular at its most significant performance.
Counter Eurovision 79, though now largely forgotten, will evoke fond memories among reggae fans because of the 40-minute set of seven songs played by English reggae band Misty, or Misty in Roots, from which the deep and heavy roots reggae album Live at the Counter was made. The album is now considered a classic among reggae live albums.
Misty in Roots were an Afro-Caribbean roots reggae collective whose members had origins in Jamaica, St Kitts and Grenada but most of whom grew up in Southall in west London. Band members in 1979 included brothers Walford and Delvin Tyson, Chesley Samson, Delbert McKay, Tony Henry and Dennis Augustine. The album was mixed at a studio in Brussels by local sound engineers, although roots reggae was more commonly produced by Jamaicans or those with some significant connection to Jamaica.
Click here to read the article by Ciarán Lenoach, an RTÉ journalist, passionate fan and collector of reggae music since the 1970s.