Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Paul Homer

My latest guest to be washed ashore on a lonely island in the sea is Sussex based DJ and Radio Presenter, Paul Homer.
Originally a collector of Ska, Rocksteady & Boss Reggae, it was Paul's passion for the music that led him into becoming a DJ, combining with fellow enthusiast Mark Howard to form 'Ska-Beat-Soul'.

After the first set in April in the home city of Chichester, other gigs soon followed: Supporting top acts such as The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra and The Beat, playing festivals such as 'The Great Skinhead Reunion' and 'Ska Aid' and a regular residency at Woodies in Chichester.

Paul & Mark now present 'Ska-Beat-Soul' as a weekly radio show on ChiSoul Radio playing the best in 60's Ska, Rocksteady & Skinhead Reggae, all on 100% heavyweight vinyl !

Nat King Cole - Unforgettable

Unforgettable, that’s what you are……”

When trying to think of where to start on this journey of 5 tracks, I was trying to think of the song or artist that may have somehow subliminally gave me my musical addiction as a child. My parents, although not musical (in any way!) always listened to “proper music”. There was always Soul (Otis & Aretha especially) playing somewhere in the house. If Soul had a day off, it was bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Small Faces that took its place 

So why Nat King Cole? My Dad NEVER sang. Ever. The only time I caught him singing was to this song in the car when I was about 8. I saw him quietly singing in the rear view mirror when he didn’t think anyone was watching.  So this song will always remind me of him.

Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Plaistow Patricia

Ar*eholes, Ba*tards, Fu**ing Cu*ts & Pr*cks!” 

I was 16. I had just found the best band in the world – Madness. I was buying their records and playing them in my bedroom every day. My Uncle Dave came round a few days later with a few albums under his arm & pulled me to one side. “If you like Madness, have a listen to these; but when you get to this one (pointing at an album with a photo of a 'raspberry' and a kid outside an underwear shop) for christ’s sake keep the volume down or your dad will kill me!” 

I can’t remember the other albums he gave me, other than Patti Smyth 'Wild Horses' and probably now my favourite album of all time – 'New Boots & Panties' by Ian Dury & the Blockheads. 

As you can imagine - straight upstairs, straight on to the rude lyrics – loved it ever since!

Andy & Joey - You're Wondering Now

You're wondering now, what to do, now you know this is the end
You're wondering how, you will pay, for the way you did behave”

For the next couple of years, I completely immersed myself in 2-Tone. My bedroom was suddenly covered in old Specials tour posters, magazine cuttings etc. 

Then my Mum bought home a CD called “One Original Step Beyond, the Story of Ska”. At no point did anyone tell me that these songs I’d fallen in love with weren’t original!!! The Maytals, Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, The Ethiopians - I couldn’t take it all in! This really was the “life changing moment” when it comes to where I am today in terms of music. 

The reason I chose this tune in particular is because as soon as I heard The Specials were reforming in 2009, I dragged my heavily pregnant partner to Brixton Academy so that my future son would be there to hear it! I played this song to him (through Caroline’s tummy) all the way up in the car!

The Exciters - Blowing Up My Mind

Dynamite & Nitro-Glycerine 
are like a firecracker compared to you…..”

By the time I reached 18, I was a staunch 'Trojan Skinhead' with scooter, sideburns & my Dad’s workboots! No other music was going to dilute my ears, other than Ska & it’s various off-shoots. Going to various scooter rallies and 'do’s', I was constantly annoyed by these 'Northern Soul' tracks that really didn’t do anything for me at all. 

At a local do, a mate of mine who was DJ'ing made a bet with me. “If you don’t like the next song I play, I’ll never play another Northern Soul song in front of you again!” I don’t think it was even half-way through before I was up on the dancefloor! 

I chose this song as influential, just because it constantly reminds me that other music is out there & if I don’t like it now, I might like it later!

Clancy Eccles - Feel The Rhythm

If you try to reach the top, they will want to see you drop….”

I’ve been playing & collecting Ska, Rocksteady and Boss Reggae now for around 20 years but have only taken up DJ'ing in the last year or so. Thanks to the support of some fantastic friends and family, I’ve been fortunate enough to support some of the acts that I grew up listening to all those years ago at the beginning of my love affair with this type of music which just blows my mind every time! 

My son is now four years old & we literally can’t go anywhere in the car without him demanding I put this track on and we sing it at the top of our voices! It gets me every time that while his mates are discovering One Direction and 'Gangnam style', he’s asking for an obscure Rocksteady tune that’s about 45 years old! 

The other reason for choosing this tune is because Caroline bought me the original Doctor Bird 45 for my birthday, but it didn’t arrive in time, so she drew the actual single with crayon, put it in a cardboard mailer (with stiffeners!) just so I had something to open on my birthday... and that’s why I love them both so much!


Catch up with Paul's music on these sites :