Harlesden organisation holds reggae event at the House of Commons
PUBLISHED: 17:50 17 July 2015 | UPDATED: 19:17 17 July 2015
The House of Commons was filled with the sounds of reggae music thanks to a special event by a Harlesden-based organisation yesterday.
Legendary singers, songwriters, producers and DJs were at the relaunch of the Federation Of Reggae Music (FORM) which promotes the industry and the importance of Brent’s role in the genre.
Founded by singer and producer Delroy Washington, FORM also provides an advisory service for people in the industry and information to all about the reggae industry.
Dawn Butler, Brent Central MP, hosted the celebrations which included live music at the Jubilee Rooms located inside Parliament.
Mr Washington, founder of FORM and a former pupil of John Kelly Boys’ School in Neasden (Crest Academy), said: “Reggae music should be celebrated especially as Brent has played such an important role in the UK.
“Brent has so many great reggae artists and John Kelly School has produced so many reggae singers including Junior English, Don Campbell and Brinsley Forde - more than any other school in the UK.
“The new FORM will regenerate the reggae industry not only in Brent but across the country and we will try and attracted more young people and look at how pop music can play a part.”
Attendees at the event included Boney M singer Liz Mitchell, who grew up in Harlesden, Hugh Francis from Harlesden-based record company and distributor Jet Star and Tony Williams, the first mainstream reggae DJ in the country.
Ms Mitchell gave the crowd an acapella rendition of her group’s 1978 hit ‘The Rivers of Babylon’ during the event while Professor Gus John gave a talk on the history of reggae music in Brent.
FORM at the House of Commons
Liz Mitchell, Rohan and Professor Gus John (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Singer Donna Hines, Liz Mitchell and Jay Abdul (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Hugh Francis (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Liz Mitchell with her husband Thomas Pemberton and Brent Central MP Dawn Butler (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Liz Mitchell singing to the crowd (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Tony Williams with Lorraine King, Times' digital news editor (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Liz Mitchell and Delroy Washington (Pic credit: Angela Blake)
Plans are currently in place for FORM to have a permanent exhibition of the history of reggae music in Brent at the new Willesden Green Library once it opens later this month.
Ms Butler, who also gave an impromptu tour of the House of Commons to some of the antendees, said: “It was a pleasure to host the federation of Reggae Music in Parliament.
“Not only because it filled the corridors with the sweet sound of reggae but to ensure that those who have contributed to our rich musical heritage are never forgotten.
“I look forward to viewing the reggae exhibition in our new Willesden Library.”
For more information about FORM visit its Facebook page.
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