Desmond Dekker – Live At Basins Nightclub 1987

by May 1, 2024Mini-Review, Reviews

Desmond Dekker - Live At Basins Nightclub 1987

Release Info

Burning Sounds
Street date
April 26, 2024
Website Record Label/Artist
Facebook Record Label/Artist

1. Moondance (Inst.)/Introduction (5.41)
2. It Mek (Version) (3.40)
3. It Mek (4.04)
4. Unity (3.08)
5. Hey Grandma (3.43)
6. Sabotage/Pass The Kouchie (5.39)
7. Pickney Gal/Coomyah (4.22)
8. Medley: 007 (Shanty Town)/Blue Moon/All I Have To Do Is Dream/Cupid/One Love/Wimoweh/Simmer Down (5.39)
9. You Can Get It If You Really Want (4.38)
10. Israelites (5.52)
11. Intensified (4.45
Desmond Dekker, the reggae/ska legend whose infectious hits dominated the 1960s and continued to resonate throughout various UK ska revivals, needs no introduction. Tragically, Dekker passed away in 2006 at the young age of 64. This previously undiscovered live recording sheds light on a captivating performance from Desmond Dekker’s later career. The music from this LP lay hidden for over 30 years until a fortuitous discovery by Jason Webster, the then-deejay at Basins Nightclub. Webster stumbled upon tapes recorded directly from the mixing board on the night of Desmond’s performance, Friday, January 23rd, 1987.

The energy of that night is palpable, with an estimated 400 concertgoers from diverse backgrounds – punks, Two Tone fans, skinheads, and alternative music enthusiasts – all united in their appreciation for the reggae legend. Basins Nightclub was known for its eclectic programming, providing a welcoming space for various subcultures. While details about Desmond’s backing band remain elusive, we do know that Delroy Williams provided backing vocals that night.

The live set opens with a spirited instrumental rendition of Van Morrison’s Moondance, complete with the iconic introduction. This segues seamlessly into a full-fledged eruption with It Mek,one of Desmond’s many career-defining hits. The energy remains high as the band tackles two rocksteady classics, Unity and Hey Grandma, both produced by the legendary Leslie Kong. Desmond then delivers a crowd-pleasing medley of Sabotage and Pass The Kouchie.

Side two kicks off with a double dose of early reggae with Pickney Gal and Coomyah. This is followed by a medley featuring the well-known 007 (Shanty Town) alongside Bob Marley’s Simmer Down. Desmond then showcases his versatility with covers of pop favorites like Blue Moon and Cupid. The closing tracks return to Desmond’s signature sound. The album reaches a peak with extended versions of his biggest hits, Israelites and You Can Get It If You Really Want. The energetic set concludes with the aptly titled Intensified, leaving the listener with a lasting impression of Desmond Dekker’s captivating live performance.

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