- (This page covers the career of Dennis Bovell, including work with Matumbi and as Blackbeard.)
Dennis Bovell (born 22 May 1953) is a reggae guitarist, bass player and record producer. He was a member of the British reggae band Matumbi, and released dub records under his own name as well as the pseudonym Blackbeard. He is most widely known for his decades-spanning collaborations with Linton Kwesi Johnson.
(Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links to Peel
Dennis Bovell was a central figure in the emergence of British reggae in the the second half of the 1970s, both as a musician and as a producer. Among his chart successes, he wrote and produced "Silly Games" by Janet Kay, which reached #2 in the UK charts in 1979,, while his band, Matumbi, were perhaps best known for recording the theme song of the television series Empire Road. Bovell has also worked extensively with members of Aswad  and was engineer on “Dub From Creation” by Creation Rebel, the first album helmed by a novice Adrian Sherwood.
Always keen to encourage UK-based reggae talent, Peel was more than happy to give airtime to Matumbi, and especially Bovell's groundbreaking work as producer and musical director for reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. The DJ appeared to take less interest in Bovell's more commercial productions for lovers rock artists, but he did continue to play dub releases put out under the Blackbeard alias.
Bovell is also known for his production work outside the reggae field, including for Peel session artists such as the Amazulu, Angelic Upstarts, Cook Da Books, Float Up CP, Fela Kuti, Madness, Orange Juice, Pop Group, Sharon Shannon, and the Slits.
Festive Fifty Entries
- Music In The Air / Rock / Chatty-Chatty
- Empire Road / Bluebeat And Ska / Money / Hook Deh
Other Shows Played
(The following list was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more information if known.)
- 17 February 1978: Guide Us (7" - Music In The Air / Guide Us) Matumbi Music Corp
- 06 October 1978: unknown tracks from debut album, Seven Seals
- 03 October 1978: Empire Road (7") Harvest
- 23 October 1978: Guide Us (LP – Seven Seals) Harvest
- 16 August 1979: Pretender
- 13 September 1979: Pretender (12" b-side - Point Of View (Squeeze A Little Lovin)) Matumbi
- 15 October 1979: Pretender (single – Point Of View) Matumbi
- 20 November 1979: Come With Me (LP - Point Of View) EMI
- 20 November 1979: Bookie To The Bank (LP - Point Of View) EMI
- 20 November 1979: Daughter Of Babylon (LP - Point Of View) EMI
- 01 December 1979 (BFBS): Bookie To The Bank (album - Point Of View) EMI
- 10 December 1979: Boy Oh Boy (LP - Point Of View) EMI/
- 02 January 1979 (& Winston Edwards): Ronald Biggs The Great Train Robber (LP - At 10 Downing Street - Dub Conference) Studio 16
- 10 January 1979 (& Winston Edwards): Downing Street Rock (LP - At 10 Downing Street - Dub Conference) Studio 16
- 25 February 1980: 'nough (LP - I Wah Dub) More Cut
- 27 February 1980: Reflections (LP - I Wah Dub) More Cut
- 01 March 1980 (BFBS): Electric Charge (album - I Wah Dub) More Cut RDC 2002
- 22 June 1982: Reflections (album - I Wah Dub) More Cut
- 17 April 2001 (with Winston Edwards): Downing Street Rock (LP - Winston Edwards & Blackbeard At Ten Downing Street) Studio 16
- 26 April 2001 (Radio Eins) (with Winston Edwards): Downing Street Rock (LP - Winston Edwards & Blackbeard At Ten Downing Street) Studio 16