Afrobeat and Reggae
Soothsayers have been an unstoppable force on the UK music scene for well over a decade, and their recent signing to London based label Wah Wah 45s has solidified their standing as an innovative and original group at the cutting edge of contemporary UK music.
After the successful sold-out limited edition EP ‘Speak to my Soul’ released in May 2017, Wah Wah 45s released a remixed version of the EP in September 2017, and have recently released the first single Dis and Dat from the forthcoming album Tradition, due for release in June 2018.
With a unique and universally uplifting sound combining great melodies, fat reggae and afrobeat-inspired grooves, top quality musicianship and a conscious lyrical message, Soothsayers have taken their unique sound to an impressive list of festivals, including Rototom, The North Sea Jazz Festival, Dhaka World Music Festival, Womad, London Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Barbados World Music Festival, Dour Festival Belgium, Sierra Nevada Festival California, Clonakilty Guitar Festival Ireland, as well as venues such as London’s Jazz Café and Paris’ New Morning.
Six studio albums have gained universal critical acclaim gaining regular radio-play across the globe. Live radio sessions have included BBC Radio 3, BBC radio London, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service. Soothsayers’ reputation as a great live band and innovative studio producers has led to collaborations with top quality artists including a host of world famous Jamaicans like Johnny Clarke, Cornel Campbell and Rico as well as great work with UK based artists Mad Professor, Dennis Bovell, Michael Prophet, Earl 16 and Manasseh.
The recent 7" vinyl single release, Nothing Can Stop Us, has become a Rodigan favourite on his BBC1Xtra radio show, and the first two EPs on Wah Wah 45s (Speak to my Soul and Speak to my Soul Remixed) have received wide radio support, including from Gilles Peterson and Tom Middleton of BBC 6 music.
The Independent on Sunday: “The grooves are solid, the playing immaculate and the
three-part vocal harmonies the icing on the cake.”
Soundblab.com: “Soothsayers offer politically-engaged, cliché-free lyrical sentiment
delivered in spine-tingling three part harmony. Human Nature is timeless, offering a fresh, contemporary approach to vintage 70s roots-reggae and afrobeat which will please purists at the same time as engaging new audiences.”
Uncut Magazine: “precise, melodic vocals with intricate horn led arrangements... the mood is defiant and joyous... delightful."
Riddim magazine: “The best thing about Soothsayers is that their sound constantly evolves…the defining element is now three-part vocal harmony, which sweetens much of the work…the album’s overall feeling is one of optimism, and a belief that love conquers all.”
The Guardian: **** “One of the finest slices of a Anglo-Caribbean fusion since The
Specials in their prime... artfully mixing in funk and afrobeat to their deep dub.”
Clash Magazine: “a truly intoxicating dub experience... featuring a galaxy of reggae and
dub stars... like the best jambalaya it’s hot and spicy and will leave you grinning from ear to
Colchester Arts Centre - the little church with the big attitude deep in the heart of Essex.
Well that's how we describe it anyway. It sort of works, it at least gives a flavour of what we're about.
Because just how do you describe a venue that can put children's entertainer Palfi the Clown on, on the same day as Cradle of Filth?
Where a Farmer's Market in the morning becomes a comedy club in the evening, where folk enthusiasts can sit happily knitting (and they do!) in the exact same spot a ferocious mosh pit of teenage dancing takes place the following night?
And where the beautiful historic architecture of St Mary's Church dating back over a thousand years, plays host to some of the newest comics, most modern choreographers, some of the coolest DJ's and some of the freshest talent in Britain.
Over the years we've promoted Coldplay, Eddie Izzard, Graham Norton, Harry Hill, Catherine Tate, Jo Brand, The Libertines, Ash, The Killers, The Strokes, Phill Jupitus, Mick Jones, Bill Bailey, Jack Dee, Count Arthur Strong - all before anyone had ever heard of them of course - plus the likes of jazz legend Ronnie Scott and even the late lamented and much loved Brian Johnston the cricket commentator.
Our passion to present new work bring great bands and comics to Colchester burns more brightly than ever. Our business is all about fresh ideas, new acts, new art forms and vibrant new ways of working. We can't stand still. We embrace the new, the quirky the original and yes, the surreal.
Whilst every effort goes into ensuring this gig listing is accurate and up to date, always check with the venue before you travel.