By John Fenwick
Acclaimed DJ, filmmaker and BBC Radio 6 Music host Don Letts is set to perform a one-off North East show when he rolls into Teesside this Autumn.
Letts will bring his vast knowledge of reggae and punk music to Middlesbrough Town Hall for a special DJ set on Saturday 23rd November, celebrating the premiere of the eagerly anticipated documentary ‘Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records’.
As resident DJ at the iconic 1970’s London punk club, ‘The Roxy’, Letts came to notoriety as the DJ who single-handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto reggae and has been at the forefront of the UK music scene ever since.
Following his early success as a DJ, the reggae icon managed some of punk’s biggest names, including The Clash and The Slits. He also formed a number of his own music projects throughout the 80s and 90s, releasing critically acclaimed albums and hit singles with Big Audio Dynamite and Screaming Target.
Speaking of his upcoming show in Middlesbrough, Don Letts told us:“I’m going to be nice-ing up the place with some heavyweight bass, a reggae-type set that’s very much in the spirit of this amazing new film.
“Apparently, the reggae-punk connection is all my fault.
“Luckily for me, the punks liked it too. It was like a cultural exchange: they were turning me on to the whole punk DIY thing, and I was turning them on to bass-heavy Jamaican music. We were like-minded rebels.”
“I love performing in the North East and I can’t wait to make my Middlesbrough return. My set will be all about the heritage and legacy of Jamaican music and the island’s gift to the world…bass!”
As a filmmaker, Letts has directed over 300 music videos for the likes of The Clash, The Psychedelic Furs, Elvis Costello and Bob Marley & The Wailers. He would later go on to win a Grammy for his ground-breaking documentary, ‘Westway to the World’.
Over the course of his long and prolific career, his work has been exhibited in The Kitchen N.Y.C, The Institute of Contemporary Art, The N.F.T in London and was honoured at Brooklyn’s BAM festival.
Don continues to educate music aficionados on the rich history of reggae and punk in the UK with his popular BBC 6 Music show ‘Culture Clash Radio’, as well as national and international DJ sets, performing at the likes of Glastonbury Festival, The Rough Trade 25th Anniversary, Trojan Records, Lee Perry’s Meltdown and Stussy’s 25th Anniversary.
Support will come from Ska’d For Life, an all-star DJ group who bring the sound of ska to some of the world’s greatest songs