Carrying The Swing
January 11, 2010

Label Screen Edge
Format DVD - Region Free
Languages English/Patois
Subtitles N/A
Length 50 minutes (approx.)
Producer/Director Howard Johnson
The DVD 'Carrying The Swing' is a decent documentary that takes you back to the good old days in Bristol and tries to trace the musical links between Jamaica and Bristol. It offers interviews of the key players in the musical interchange. The musical styles portrayed here are jungle, trip-hop and dancehall and reggae. We're not sure when this documentary was filmed, but regarding the music it could have been in the early nineties.

In the 60's Bristol had one of the largest Jamaican communities in the UK. The immigrants brought their music with them and soon they started to form sound sytems and organize 'blues' parties. At first the immigrants settled in the St. Paul's area of Bristol. There's some nice black and white archive footage of the St. Paul's Carnival. The main sound systems were Tarzan, Trojan and High Priest. Here they tell their stories about the rivalries and the parties and the clubs.

Bristol's musical key figure Roni Size tells about his influences, ranging from Prince Buster to Jah Shaka. He (and Ray Mighty) have set up studios to support the music. He's one of the main figures responsible for the evolution of jungle music.

Miles Johnson (Dugout pioneer) and Tricky now live in New York but reminisce about hearing Dennis Brown and Lee 'Scratch' Perry. There's some nice archive footage of Lee Perry singing 'Collie Man' in the studio. But there's also a Dennis Brown interview and he does a couple of songs. Ace producer King Jammy talks about his work and the hits he produced, while we see producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee searching for a particular tape in a chaotic pile of tapes! Finally the late great Hortense Ellis sings one of her best know tunes "Unexpected Places". Deejay Dillinger sings "Stepping Outta Babylon". There's also a nice part about Danny Brownie's Main Street crew, including artist such as Red Rat, General Degree, Hawkeye and Lady G.

All in all the DVD offers lots of niceness, some good archive footage and interesting interviews.