Sites and sounds entertaining the Red Stripes' Paul Thompson

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 June, 2015, 11:02pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 June, 2015, 11:02pm

What I'm listening to: a lot of first-generation ska and rocksteady originating from Jamaica in the 1960s. Growing up in Britain, I liked second-wave ska bands such as The Specials, Madness and some later Clash records driven by the bass, and I began to listen and learn many of the lines. When we formed The Red Stripes, I began going further back into the history of the genre and discovered many of these bands were heavily influenced by artists such as The Ethiopians, The Pioneers, Dandy Livingstone, Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster. It was a real honour to bring first-generation ska to Hong Kong at this year's Clockenflap with the son of Prince Buster himself, Sultan Ali.

What I'm reading: I read mostly non-fiction - in particular music biographies and music history books. I am reading Suggs' biography That Close now. He writes on how heavily his band, Madness, is influenced by first-generation ska and rocksteady, the challenges of playing tiny venues with a 10-piece band ... something we are learning in Hong Kong.

What I'm watching: I thought that Chad Boseman in Get on Up, the James Brown documentary, was fantastic, and it's a well-made, well-produced biography of his life on and off stage. This year, I'm looking forward to finally watching Legends of Ska, a documentary on the roots of Jamaican ska and rocksteady.

What artists I'm following: I've been following the urban photographic work of JR since his exhibition in Hong Kong, and Specials bass player Horace Panter's recent screen prints of cassette tapes from his collection are fascinating.

Where I'm surfing: I visit bandcamp.com to seek out new music that you might not discover otherwise, and trojanrecords.com also has great playlists and reissues from the huge Trojan Record collection, a ska and rocksteady label. Plus, we have started recording original material and use bandcamp to bring it to a larger audience.

As told to P. Ramakrishnan