Rating: Good lord! Did someone say reggae got soul? They must have been thinking about the The Delegators then who have pulled into port and are encouraging ‘all aboard’ for their full-length follow-up to 2010’s super sweet Movin’ On EP. The band do of course play reggae of the very earliest kind (and when they’re not playing that they’re switching between reggae precursors ska and rocksteady) but do it with more soul than a sock with very big hole. Of course, that’s only truly possible with a world class singer and, as luck would have it, The Delegators’ Janet Kumah has the power and range to embarrass almost anyone you’d care to mention on the global retro soul scene, let alone the global retro ska reggae scene. Obviously that’s quite a claim so to head suspicions of bullshit off at the pass you’ll find a video of the band peforming Movin On live below.
All Aboard opens with a trio of the album’s strongest cuts, rocksteady banger Be Good To Me, ska nugget I Didn’t Mean To Break Your Heart and the organ-led, slow-burn, early reggae-style cut Crying – and if that lot doesn’t make you want to check the rest of it, nothing will. Other highlights include the moody title track, the bubbling calypso lilt of Dance, the boss reggae of I Don’t Mind, and an inspired cover of Motown-classic Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide. One for ska, reggae and soul fans alike and yet another entry into the top ten MB LPs of the year one feels. Delegation for the nation!
(Out now on Brainlab Groove)