Reggae Group Inner Circle Return to Russia

The Iron Curtain divided Communist Eastern Europe from the west in 1979. Cold War politics was rigid when reggae band Inner Circle first played the continent that year.

Thirty-five years later and the quintet are back in Europe. The Iron Curtain has long been lifted.

This evening, inner Circle are scheduled to perform in Lithuania. Yesterday, they played Kaliningrad, Russia, once the heart of global Communism.

"We first hit Europe with Jacob (Miller) when we were on Island Records. We toured with the Average White Band and English rocker Ian Dury and did the biggest English outdoor festival of the time, the Reading Festival," guitarist Roger Lewis, a founding member of Inner Circle, told OBSERVER ONLNE.

Inner Circle's latest Euro tour began in early July in Slovenia, followed by shows in Austria, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Russia.

Lewis and his younger brother, bass player Ian Lewis, are the only original members with Inner Circle. Miller, who joined in the mid-1970s, died in an auto accident in 1980.

The older Lewis commented on Europe's more open political climate.

"The times have definitely changed. Reggae is all over Europe now, even in the east...Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, etc," he said.

Reggae artistes started making the European festival and club rounds in 1979. Most were signed to major or independent record labels.

Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh and Burning Spear were trailblazers early in the decade.

In the 1980s, Culture, Dennis Brown, Black Uhuru and the Mighty Diamonds were among the acts joining the fray.

Burning Spear was still king of the hill when he cut back on touring eight years ago.

Formed in 1968, Inner Circle are elder statesmen of the reggae tour circuit. Lewis says their European gigs comprise major festivals such as Rototom in Spain to smaller venues that accommodate 1,000 to 4,000 people.

"In the summer, we do a lot of outdoor city festivals where it's free to come in and we play alongside rock and pop bands, famous and not so famous," he explained.

Their playlist includes classics which Miller sang, such as 'Tired fi Lick Weed In a Bush' and 'Tenement Yard' as well as Bad Boys and Sweat, which sparked their remarkable comeback in the early 1990s.

Inner Circle are scheduled to continue its European tour until late August with shows in Estonia, the Rototom Festival, Italy and Portugal.

Howard Campbell

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Post comments/Views on artiste.

Custom Search
Custom Search

Recent Articles

  1. Mavado (Gully) vs Vybz Kartel (Gaza) War 2016

    Oct 24, 16 06:22 PM

    Seems there is a Gaza vs Gully war brewing again. After the released of Vybz Kartel's step, many dancehall music lovers was wondering if the Gully Gad

    Read More

  2. Jesse Royal - Black Woman

    Oct 24, 16 02:17 PM

    JESSE ROYAL Why Relevant: Jesse Royal is one of the voices at the forefront of the Reggae Revival. His music is a vehicle to motivate downtrodden communities

    Read More

  3. NEW Releases: Marcus Hard Drive Vol1, King Jammys Chuck Turner vs Trevor Sparks, Vybz Kartel, Konshens, Frequency Riddim, Beverly Hills Boys ft Beenie Man & more

    Oct 24, 16 02:14 PM

    Here are this week's new releases: Popular Markus Records presents Hard Drive Vol.1. The hit filled compilation features international dancehall

    Read More

  4. The Lambsbread Sings for "World Peace Before 2021"

    Oct 24, 16 12:38 PM

    Hawaii Based Reggae Band The Lambsbread Sings for "World Peace Before 2021"

    Read More

  5. Ishawna Big Boy Raw love Riddim

    Oct 23, 16 09:53 PM

    Female dancehall artiste Ishawna have teamed up with young producer Krish Genius Music for her latest effort 'Big Boy'. 'Big Boy' was released on the

    Read More

Dancehall Reggae Lyrics

Welcome to see what nature's health has to offer.

[View full listing]


Mavado (Gully) vs Vybz Kartel (Gaza) War 2016

Iley Chardavid has "Unleashed" new album with VPAL Music.