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Friday, 4 December 2015

English Black Boys

I'm keeping the reggae riddims riding for Factory Friday with X-O-Dus, a Moss Side reggae band who released a single for Factory way back at the start. Produced by Dennis Bovell English Black Boys is a wonderful slice of politically conscious roots reggae. X-O-Dus played the Russell Club where Rob Gretton saw them and recommended them to Factory, with Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus jumping at the chance to release a 12", although various delays meant that English Black Boys and the B-side See Them A Come were recorded in 1979 but not released until 1980. Wilson managed to get Bovell to man the controls, who was riding high having produced records by The Slits and The Pop Group. X-O-Dus played several Factory nights including sharing the stage with Joy Division, Durutti Column, The Distractions and ACR. They gigged regularly, got played repeatedly by John Peel but this was their only release during the band's lifetime.

English Black Boys


The Swede said...

Bloody magnificent. Why didn't I feature this in my 55 from 55 series earlier in the year? Can't believe I overlooked it. A fundamental record for me and my pals at the time. It was a tricky one to sell in the shop as I remember though, with a very 'Factory' sleeve that got a bit lost in the reggae 12" section. Consequently we played it out over the shop's system as often as possible, which was great for us, but not so good for a couple of our reggae hating co-workers.
A marvellous addition to this fine series Adam.

Gentle Ben said...

Yes, a great choice. I love this!