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pama international – love and austerity




tracklisting :

1.    “heatwave”
2.    “wake up”
3.    “austerity skank”
4.    “i cried til i stopped”
5.    “man next door”
6.    “gasoline”
7.    “skies are blue”
8.    “then you can tell me goodbye”
9.    “heatwave” (discomix – bonus track)
10.    “austerity skank” (discomix – bonus track)
11.    “duboline” (bonus track)
12.    “man next door disco mix” (discomix – bonus track)


back when this blog was updated on a regular basis i was invited into the world of pama international. the main man behind one of this countrys best reggae bands, sean flowerdew, contacted me about one of their recent albums.
subsequently, i got to hear their excellent albums, see them live a few times, and generally become a bit of a fan.
mixing up a love for old school ska, reggae, bluebeat, the band knew how to rock a crowd, and their releases never failed to put a smile on my face.
then following the release of their last album, outernational, things went quiet.
it was during the quiet times that i randomly bumped into sean during my lunch hour in bristol.
so, we headed off for a quick pint and a chat.
turned out that sean was calling an end to the band as he needed to try something different.
he told me of his plans to form a northern soul type of band and how he was looking for a particular type of rock-n-soul revue gang.
well, fast forward 7 years, and this wonderful album is a result of his trials and tribulations.
this time around, the band are fronted by the gorgeous sweet vocals of jewels vass and anna uhuru, so, straight away things sound different to the previous incarnation of the band.
starting off with the radio friendly summer reggae skank of ‘heatwave’ its clear that sean has rediscovered his love for that old 70s trojan sound, but as the album progresses you can hear the band trying out new directions, yet maintaining a love for 60s/70s warm sounding productions.
the easiest way to give you an indication as to just how great this album is : if you happened to pick up amy winehouses special 2cd edition of ‘back to black’ then you may have heard her versions of some of the old two tone classics?
well, this album is a direct continuation of those slices of perfection with a hint of duffy thrown into the mix.
across the 8 albums tracks there is late night 60s styled heartache soul that would not be out of place on any old school $tateside compilation, tracks such as ‘wake up’, ‘i cried till i stopped’, and ‘skies are blue’ just melt the ears and heart.
then after the lovely little skank of ‘gasoline’ things go back to church with the show stopping stripped back gospel soul of ‘skies are blue’.
the album proper then closes on a full band grooving to ‘then you can me goodbye’ with horns, backing singers etc.
however, if you get the limited cd edition via their bandcamp page, the band have loosened up a little and added 4 ‘disco mixes’ of the albums reggae based tracks, making things finish on a happy, feet shuffling mood.
all in all, this is an absolutely wonderful album, and a great addition to the bands catalogue.
highly recommended.

more detail : here