BoomTown Music Top Tips – TrenchTown 2015

Just as the Town Centre‘s tips yesterday only included one stage (the Town Centre obviously), so TrenchTown is solely dedicated to the Lion’s Den (yes I know Hidden Woods and Tangled Roots were both included in the TrenchTown announcement but for programme purposes these will be under Forest Parties, I’ll hopefully come to those next week). There are of course huge names such as Alborosie, SOJA, Protoje and Barrington Levy playing the stage, classic Dancehall acts like Cutty Ranks, Baby Cham and Ward 21 and plenty of old favourites: Gentleman’s Dub Club, David Rodigan and Shy FX for example, but here’s 5 of my personal tips that shouldn’t be missed.

Stephen Marley

We seem to have started a tradition of Marley related acts kicking off the stage at midday on Friday. Last year was The Wailers and before that it was Julian Marley, this year it’s the turn of his brother Stephen, who has plenty of killer hits under his belt , such as: Traffic Jam; Rock Stone; No Cigarette Smoking In My Room; and the latest Ghetto Boy. He has consistently proven himself a strong singer, producer, musician and DJ (of the vocal Dancehall variety not the mixing records kind) and I have no doubt he’s going to put on one hell of a show.

Chopstick Dubplate presents Jah Mason & Demolition Man

It can be tricky to bring those extra special Jungle shows, last year’s UK Allstars was a rare moment indeed (if you missed it check this video) but I believe this is going to be golden also. Chopstick Dubplate is the winning combination of Aries, Jacky Murda and Tuffist and with this show they are bringing Jah Mason over from Jamaica, who any self respecting Junglist will know collaborated with Jacky on the above version of his classic Princess Gone track. Mason has a string of conscious hits but who knows what they’re going to pull out of the bag for this. They will also have the mighty Demolition Man with them, now a Canadian resident, Demo was easily one of my favourite Jungle MCs back in the 90s and has continued on at the top of his game ever since. I’m also assured there will be other special guests making an appearance.

Mykal Rose

My heart sank when Black Uhuru pulled their whole European Tour a few weeks ago, but then along came Mykal Rose – the band’s most successful vocalist. He came to the group after Don Carlos left and was later replaced by Junior Reid (and currently Andrew Bees), but in his time with the band he wrote and recorded 4 classic albums including hits such as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Shine Eye Gal and Sinsemilla, so you can expect to hear those when he touches down to open the Lion’s Den on Sunday afternoon. Couldn’t have gone better really.


Although Matisyahu has gone through many changes since he first gained a reputation as the Hasidic Reggae super star, Reggae still holds a central part of his sound and he has always had a reputation as a strong live performer, so it’s only right to bring him to the Lion’s Den. He’s also after SOJA, a band that hardly ever get to play in the country (and never outside of London), both are the kind of acts that will warm up your soul and so for anyone needing a feel good lift Saturday night, make sure you’re down the front for both of those.


Ever since Notorious became one of the biggest Dancehall hits of all time, I’ve had my eye on Turbulence, and although he hasn’t had the same ratio of hits as some of his contemporaries, he’s been rock solid with the tunes and you only need to look at the video above to see he still carries the fire. I think his will be a great performance for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Still a few districts to go but there’s also a mountain of work to be getting on with for BoomTown so forgive me if I don’t get through them all. Don’t forget these tips will also be in the programme so no need to worry too much. You can also get a (nearly) full run down of acts at the website

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