Velvet Coalmine features a special DJ performance from Don Letts. SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2015
Supporting Slaves, with Glen Matlock (Sex Pistol) and Henry’s Funeral Shoe.
Journalist and author Simon Price curates music industry panel events, and Glen Matlock and Don Letts will take part in a special ‘Legends of Punk’ afternoon, joined by none other than Viv Albertine. See HERE.
Don Letts’ reputation has been firmly established in both the film and music world by a substantial body of work from the late 70’s through the 80’s, 90’s and well into the millennium. His work has been exhibited in The Kitchen N.Y.C, The Institute of Contemporary Art, The N.F.T in London and was honored at Brooklyn’s BAM festival and The Milan Film festival. In March 2003 he won a Grammy for his documentary ‘Westway To The World’.
He came to notoriety in the late 70’s as the DJ that single handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto reggae. It was whilst as a d.j at the first punk club ‘The Roxy’ in 1977, that Don adopted the punk D.I.Y ethic and begun to make his first film ‘The Punk Rock Movie’. Shot on Super-8mm it is the only documentary on the U.K punk scene w/ Sex Pistols-The Clash and many others. This led to a period directing over 300 music videos for a diverse range of artists (see below).
At the end of 2007 Don presented ‘Speakers Corner’ in conjunction with the British Arts council. Featuring several spoken word artists, poets and rappers with a musical band in a theatrical setting. The event toured the UK in November-December and was a contemporary response to the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade.
In March 2007 SAF Publishing released Don Letts’ autobiography ‘Culture Clash: Dread Meets Punk Rockers’ in hardback.
In 2010 Don was the subject of a documentary ‘Superstonic Sound: The Rebel Dread’ (dir: Raphael Erichsen)
In 2011 Don reformed Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones of The Clash for a world tour.
He currently presents a weekly radio show on BBC 6 Music called ‘Culture Clash Radio’ and still d.j’s nationally and internationally.
Don continues to D.J nationally and internationally playing strictly old and new school dub reggae. His set is in the spirit of his time as DJ at London’s legendary Roxy club back in ’77.
From the days of Punk Rock to present day Don has always been drawn towards musical projects. After d.j’ing at the Roxy and whilst directing videos for many other acts he created the band Basement Five, released a single with members of John Lydon’s P.I.L, managed the Slits and collaborated with members of Trouble Funk. He recently recorded a reggae version of the London Calling!
In the mid 80’s he formed the group ‘Big Audio Dynamite’ with Mick Jones (ex-Clash). He went on to perform and co-write four albums with B.A.D achieving several hits on both sides of the Atlantic including the top ten hit E=Mc2. The band recently reformed for a world tour to sell out shows and critical acclaim.
In the early nineties Don left B.A.D to form ‘Screaming Target’ their debut performance at The Transmusical Festival in France received rave reviews. They released one critically acclaimed album ‘Hometown Hi-Fi’’.
Don d.j’s nationally and internationally, sets include Glastonbury – Bestival – Lovebox – The Big Chill – Stussy 25th Anniversary – Adidas –- Doctor Martins – Latitude – The Rough Trade 25th Anniversary – Lee Perry’s Meltdown –Rizzla -Island Records 50th anniversary – Massive Attack’s Meltdown –Vintage At Goodwood – Womad and Festival No.6 to name a few. He was recently asked to d.j for both Arcade Fire’s soid out London gigs at The Roundhouse.
Along with collaborations with Dreadzone and remixes for various acts Don has also released several compilation albums:
1996 ‘Time Warp Dub Clash’ (Island Records) a compilation of old and new school dubs.
2002 ‘Dread Meets The Punk Rockers Uptown’ (Heavenly Records) voted one of the top ten compilations by the N.M.E.
2003 ‘Don Letts presents: The Mighty Trojan Sound’ (Sanctuary Records) a critically acclaimed compilation of classic seventies reggae.
2004 ‘Dread Meets B-Boy Downtown (Heavenly Records) a compilation of early eighties hip-hop.
2008 ‘Dread Meets Greensleeves: A Westside Revolution’ (Greensleeves Records) compiling late seventies roots to two thousand and eight dancehall.
Don continues to explore the audio/visual medium….