A Windrush Top Ten

Brixton’s Champion Agency, which created the theme for today’s Windrush Day celebration, has also put together a Windrush Top 10.

It has been compiled by Lloyd Bradley, cultural commentator, journalist and author of Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the CapitalBase Culture: When Reggae Was King, and Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music.

Here they are …

London Is The Place For Me – Lord Kitchener (1948)

Delivered on the gangplank, Kitch’s buoyant calypso tribute to the Motherland became an instant and deservedly enduring Windrush anthem.

Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys – The Equals (1963)

Eddy Grant’s multi-racial group reflected how Britain was changing and summed up where they wanted it to go with this song.

Handsworth Revolution – Steel Pulse (1977)

A pinnacle of British roots reggae, the Birmingham band eloquently and artistically expressed the frustrations and simmering anger of a new generation of black youth.

Silly Games – Janet Kaye (1979)

Home grown reggae came of age as a bona-fide mainstream pop music when this lovers rock classic reached Number Two in the national charts.

Bass Culture – Linton Kwesi Johnson (1980)

Dub poetry played a huge part in Britain’s black music story, LKJ combined with Dennis Bovell’s Dub Band to consistently produce some of the best.

Diamond Life – Sade (1984)

From its earliest recordings, British black music could dazzle with its sophistication, Sade’s late night masterpiece as smooth and as nuanced as it gets.

Keep On Movin’ – Soul II Soul (1989)

Direct from London’s sound system culture, Britain’s black music comes of age as this self- defined sound became one of the year’s biggest hits.

Timeless – Goldie (1995)

Drum’n’bass mastermind adopts symphonic sensibilities for a double-CD set that took the style to its outer limits and back again with its stretched, immersive grooves.

Empress – Ray BLK (2018)

Written and produced by Ray BLK herself, this album runs across a range of styles and themes to showcase just how empowering British black music has become.

Heavy Is The Head – Stormzy (2019)

Nothing capture’s grime’s evolution from tower block pirate radio to rock star status better than Stormzy and this thoughtful, energising set of songs.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.