The Abyssinians and ChainSka Brassika

The Abyssinians and ChainSka Brassika

**** 4/5

Clapham Grand

London SW11

The Abyssinians

The Jamaican roots reggae band were fronted by what appeared to be a curious mix of 3 lead singers, all  grey bearded, slim elderly gentlemen. Their music was melodic and rhythmic and had the packed crowd swaying and singing long to the Jamaican beats emanating from their talented musicians.

ChainSka Brassika

ChainSka Brassika

ChainSka Brassika

I came to see The Abyssinians, the roots reggae band from Jamaica, but ended up being far   more impressed by their support band Chain Ska Brassika (click link to watch video). The South East London band reminded me of the Bristol combo Babyhead and Madness. 9 white men doing reggae. What a ting to behold! There music was upbeat, vibrant and very lively. The lead singer was having fun dancing away with his nifty dance moves and had a pretty decent voice too. I’d not heard of them before and would certainly go and see them again.

Both bands are currently on tour.

©Tiemo Talk of the Town


The Abyssinians

The roots harmony vocals trio the Abyssinians was formed in 1968 by founding members Donald Manning, Bernard Collins and Linford Manning. It was in 1969 with their release “Satta Massagana” recorded on Coxson Dodd’s Studio One label—a Rastafarian hymn based on the Ethiopian Amharic language, that launched them into the ranks of Reggae music greats. “Satta Massagana” became one of reggae’s most popular songs; becoming an anthem that was heard on the radios, in the dancehalls and in the churches of Jamaica. It was also covered by many other International artists’ including Third World.

Source: Myspace

Chain Ska Brassika

ChainSka Brassika are a 9 piece ska-fuelled, energetic reggae and dub band from South East London. Their lively old-school ska sound combines with the skank of today’s bass culture and commands any audience get up and dance. Their first single, ‘This I Know’, was released in early 2013.

They have played at numerous venues across London and the South, including Hootananny, Gaz’s Rockin Blues,100 Club, The Blind Tiger Club, Mr Wolfs, and made headway on the UK festival scene with gigs at Small World Festivals, Plymouth Volksfest, Landed Festival and Playgroup Festival. This year they’ll be adding a substantial amount to this list. So far they’ve enjoyed support slots for Mad Professor, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Love Grocer, Gaz Mayall & The Trojans, Jerry Dammers, Dirty Dike & Jam Baxter and supported The Abyssinians in May 2013.

Source: ChainSka Brassika

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7 Responses to The Abyssinians and ChainSka Brassika

  1. delroy says:

    I agree with you.

  2. Pauline says:

    They really do sound a bit like “Madness”

  3. Jason says:

    Great performance by all, certainly enjoyed the ChainSka Brassika band, they reminded me of UB40 and a little bit of the ‘specials’, however the roots and culture band The Abyssinians, certainly lived up to performing old school reggae songs that were popular. Amazing to see this group as they are definitely oldies!!!!

  4. Tiemo Talk says:

    Thanks for the comments Pauline and Jason. Just re-watched the ChainSka Brassika. Terrific song. Looks like it’s filmed around Brixton market and High Street. Yes the band a little reminscent of Madness, athough on that video for their first single, ‘This I Know’, it reminded me more of The Specials, ‘Ghost Town’ c1981. 32 years ago!!

    Do you remember that? you might be too young too. Google the video and you’ll see what I mean if you don’t know it.

    The common theme here is we all recognise this band has been influenced by many great old bands and genres of music – Babyhead, Madness, The Specials and UB40 to name but four.

  5. ChainSka Brassika says:

    Hello all, thanks for the positive comments. We were wondering if you would be interested in coming and reviewing our EP launch at Passing Clouds in Dalston on 19th December 2013? If so drop us an email at! Cheers

    • Tiemo Talk says:

      Hello ChainSka Brassika. You’re welcome. Thanks for your comments. Would have loved to come, but we have our comedy awards on that night in Wembley, so won’t be able to attend. Hope it goes really well for you.

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