Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Music with a message: United Vibrations

Local band United Vibrations have played at Crossfields Festival a few times. This summer they are booked into festivals all over the country. With trombone, sax, drums, bass and vocals, the genre description "jazz fusion" is apparently inadequate for this band – they prefer "Cosmodelic Afro-Punk" or "12Tone", and list Fela Kuti and Bob Marley among their inspirations.

Three of the band are brothers. The eldest, Ahmad, was born on Crossfields. Much older Crossfields residents may remember their parents Dave Dayes and Barbara Hicks, who left the estate in 1985 to take part in a council sponsored self-build home project in Honor Oak. They have been at the heart of the self build and renewable and sustainable energy movement ever since. (Read more about their latest project here).
The band say "12Tone" reflects the cultural melting pot of their surroundings and world view (although the name derives from the techniques of avant-garde composer Schoenberg). Described by some as "eco-warriors" and "philosophical poets",  they founded the record label 12 Tone Community Interest Company, which donates all its profits to "building zero waste, energy plus, carbon negative social housing".

The band's latest video "My Way" is shot in Deptford and features some well-known landmarks, as well as some fabulous dancers. It coincides with the release of their debut album "Galaxies Not Ghettos"on Kudos Records (available on Bandcamp, Juno and Amazon).


Check out this short Guardian video about DIY Britain, featuring Dave Dayes talking about self-build (skip to 5 minutes in to see Dave)...

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