Zoë has been broadcasting on Resonance 104.4FM since 2005. Her long-standing series Lucky Cat is a spicy chop suey of Black and East Asian culture and music. Catch up with all Zoë’s radio shows on her mixcloud.
Lucky Cat’s Sound System Stories
In 2018 Zoë decided to document an oral history of UK Reggae sound system culture. The radio programmes broadcast on Resonance FM feature interviews with sound men and women from the scene.
Series 1 (2018)
Series 1 Episode 1 Ras Digby (Digby Austin) of Sir Jessus Sound (Saturday 17th February 2018)
Series 1 Episode 2 Jah Screechy (Saturday 24th February 2018)
Series 1 Episode 3 Jah Lingwa of RDK Sound (Saturday 3rd March 2018)
Series 1 Episode 4 Wolfman (Lloyd Manahan) and Man Fi Bill (All Clive) of Originalmoaanbessa Moa Anbessa Sound (Saturday 17th March 2018)
Series 1 Episode 5 WassieOne Virgo of Wassie One Sound
Series 1 Episode 6 Thali Caya Lotus of CAYA Sound
Lucky Cat’s Sound System Stories – Series 2 (2018)
Series 2 Episode 1 The Return of Ras Digby
We ran out of time when Ras Digby came on the show in February so he kindly returned to bless us with more stories and dubs!
Series 2 Episode 2 Lady Banton
Marilyn Dennis (aka Lady Banton) started Djing in the mid-eighties in North London. She teamed up with fellow female DJ, Night Nurse to form Mellotone Sound System to promote women in dancehall, bringing their sound system to Notting Hill Carnival in 1994. A continuing presence at Carnival, in 2016 she formed the all-female Seduction City Sound welcoming selectors Spice2life, DJ Fluffy Genna and MCs Andrea Clarke and Tippa to Telford Road.
Series 2 Episode 3 Dennis Alcapone
This week’s show goes back to the source – Jamaica – as Zoë welcomes the legendary DJ and producer, Dennis Alcapone. Hailing from Clarendon, Jamaica, Dennis ran the El Paso sound system in the late 1960s before he entered the music business as a prolific recording artist, producing numerous fantastic hits. A living legend, he continues to tour and perform with many of Reggae’s greatest musicians today.
Series 2 Episode 4 Taleba Wax
Taleba the creator of the Facebook forum The British Sound System Collective, established in 2016 as a revolutionary group that redesigned the way in which sound system fans across the UK are able to interact on social media to support a culture which many think is in danger of dying out with a generation.
Series 2 Episode 5 Gladdy Wax
The legendary Gladdy Wax (aka Mr Vinyl Fingers) is one of the UK’s most highly respected revival selectors and sound men. He has been running his own sound system for over 40 years, and is also a formidable MC and singer. Gladdy was a DJ for Birmingham’s Quaker City sound in the 1970s, and released records in the ’80s under the names Gladwin Wright and Gladdy Wax.
Series 2 Episode 6 Bigman Col – Main Attraction
Inspired by his older brother, Bigman Col obtained his first amplifier aged 13, from a shop in Ladbroke Grove. By the time he was 18 his Main Attraction sound system became a regular fixture at the Big and Beautiful beauty contests, continuing to entertain audiences with Reggae and a variety of black music for many years. This is the final episode in the current series.
Lucky Cat’s Sound System Stories – Series 3 2019
Series 3 Episode 1 Nzinga Soundz
Nzinga Soundz was established in the early 1980s by DJ Ade (Lynda Rosenior-Patten) and Junie Rankin (June Reid) and has become one of the UK s longest running, all-female sound systems. Lynda and June met at the age of 11 when they attended secondary school at Norwood Girls in south London and their personal, academic and professional lives crisscrossed over the ensuing decades.
Having worked in the music industry, voluntary and public sectors and creative industries, Nzinga Soundz have built up a network of clients, diverse audiences and a strong following which is reflected in their wide-ranging musical knowledge which spans reggae, soul, calypso, African, Latin and Jazz.
Music Force is a South London sound system that was established in 1989 and is still playing out today. Founder Logan specialises in voicing artists over different rhythms for dub plates. Logan hosts a music radio show on One Harmony Radio every Saturday (live, 12-3pm).
Series 3 Episode 4 Asher G The Rocksteady Daddy
Asher G (George Walcott) was born in 1961 to Jamaican parents and raised in north London. His father was a tailor and the owner of the sound system Count Wally the Mighty Hi-Fi. At the beginning of the 1980s, Count Wally gave up his sound system and presented Asher with his immense record collection.
Asher G carved out his own distinctive DJing style – affectionately known as The Rocksteady Daddy – winning Reggae revival cup clashes. He plays out all across the globe, to find out about Asher’s upcoming events click here: <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/ashergtherocksteadydaddy/” target=”_blank”>Asher G’s Caribbean Memories</a>.
Series 3 Episode 5 – Raetown Man and Soo Ultrajazz of Yard-Dee Hi Power Sound
Brothers Raetown Man and Soo Ultrajazz (Derek and Peter Robinson) tell us about the sound Raetown created in the 1980s in East London – Yard-Dee Hi Power. Expect tales of flying to Jamaica to cut dubplates at Prince Jammy’s and playing the sound system in London and Southend, where Raetown opened a record shop.
These days you can catch the brothers playing at their cult club night <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/officialcaribsoul/” target=”_blank”>Carib Soul</a>.
Series 3 Episode 6 – Frenchy of Chalice Sound System
Errol French – aka Frenchy – shares his stories of Chalice Sound System which he started with friends in 1978 in Lewisham, South London. He also worked in a record shop in Deptford until 2008.
Today, Frenchy is still a selector and plays out regularly as well as running the popular Vinyl Meltdown vintage Jamaican music night every Thursday at Flower of Kent pub in Lewisham.
Series 3 Episode 7 – Festus Coxsone
Born in Jamaica in 1951 Festus started to select records at just 13 years old. He came to England in 1965 and in 1968 Sir Coxsone Sound System was started by three founders: Glen Marshalleck, Loydie Coxsone & Festus. For many years Festus was the selector for the sound – introducing new artists to the crowds, playing exclusive dubs and winning sound clashes.
Festus has a reputation as one of the best selectors in the Reggae music scene, with the period of the 1970s being particularly special.
Today Festus is still an active selector, most recently being involved in the Championz League Selectors & Activists project.
Series 3 Episode 8 Brian ‘Uncle Fee’ of Black Harmony Sound
Brian first played at a blues dance in 1969 in London aged just 17 for his brother Count Eric. In 973/4 he started to play out with to Jah Patti sound. The late 70’s Saw Brian go into the wilderness (he moved to the countryside). In the early ’90s, Brian re-entered the sound system world after moving to Felixstowe and building his own sound called Black Harmony. The speaker boxes are packed up now but he still does the occasional spot of DJing.
Lucky Cat’s Sound System Stores Series 4 – 2020
Series 4 Episode 1 (Sat 11th Jan 2020) – Young Warrior
DJ, producer, broadcaster and sound system owner <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/youngwarrioruk/” target=”_blank”>Young Warrior</a> joins Zoë to tell us his sound system stories.
Young Warrior is the son of the historic dub legend Jah Shaka. Playing out for numerous years all over Europe he has developed his own unique sound generating a following all over the globe.
The Young Warrior’s DJ sets of which he started his public career taking him far & wide has a very new however old school sound playing roots & culture dub music from the 70’s till now in the traditional Shaka warrior style connecting with the elders who attend Shaka dances but also with the younger and new generation so they can also get a piece of his own musical message. In 2011 after many years of demand young Warrior launched his very own sound system at <a href=”https://www.dubwisefestival.com/” target=”_blank”>Dubwise Festival</a>. He played alongside King Alpha Sound System at the Brixton Mass music venue in London’s Brixton. Since launching his sound system Young Warrior has played alongside many big well-known sound systems such as Iration Steppas, Jah Tubbys, Jah Youth, Channel One, King Shiloh & many more.
Series 4 Episode 2 (Sat 18th Jan 2020) – Maxie B
Maxie B hails from South London and began her DJ career back in the 90s after finishing her degree. Since she was a little girl going to her Uncle Manny’s blues dances Maxie has always had a passion for music.
Maxie formed a sound with two friends called Southern Vibes. Later she was invited onto the community radio station Genesis to present a Revival Reggae show. A few years later she would leave to help set up Blues FM.
In 2008 vinyl was declining and CDs/laptops became more prominent on the DJ scene – it was at this point that Maxie B retired.
Vinyl has since made a resurgence, which Maxie is thrilled by, and in 2018 she played her records once more when she entered the London Reggae Revival and Lover’s rock Cup Clash. Maxie came second place, runner up to the wonderful Rasta Queen.
Series 4 Episode 3 (Sat 25th Jan 2020) – Ted Wood
Albion Hifi Sound is a historic sound system, restored by a team of volunteers, who see themselves as its custodians, with a view for it to be shared with the community and used to celebrate sound system culture with guest DJs and engineers.
Albion’s resident engineer Ted Wood joins us to tell us more about the restoration project and love for sound system culture.
Series 4 Episode 5 (Sat 15th Feb 2020) – Eternity Entertainments
Dubbed ‘South London’s hardest working sound system’ Eternity Entertainments were established on 15th December 1989, hailing from Catford South East London. Two of the members – Young Star and Bucky D – join Zoë to share their sound system stories.
Find out more about the Revival Reggae and Lovers Cup Clash event here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reggaeloverscupclash/
Series 4 Episode 6 (Sat 22nd Feb 2020) – 50/50 Sound System, Jah Beef and Milo
50-50 sound system was built back in 1986. Originally called Perfect Beat, the name change came about after a rumour that there was a sound from East London with the same name.
The sound comprised of members Jah Beef, Milo, Sensi N and Shy X and slater Supa D, Johnny Reggae and Fross completed the crew. The sound played all around the UK at weddings christenings, blues parties, boat trips etc. Sound equipment used was a Tuac weight and treble(pre-amp) 1200 watt Barracuda and an original Hand H amp, later on two more barracuda amps and then the crème de la crème barracuda blues master mk2(pre-amp) bass bins from Mr Dub in Southend.
50-50 want to give a special mention to Sista C who stood finance for certain equipment also Sista Chris for storing the set for years and also thanks to Tracey next door thanks for tolerating the noise and never complaining!
The 50-50 Sound System had a Friday night radio show on Resonance FM for many years (Jah Beef and Milo at the controls).
Series 4 Episode 7 (Sat 29th Feb 2020) – Alvin Roots from Lord Ambassador
Hailing from East London, Lord Ambassador sound system is a part of the Channel One sound system family. Alvin Roots plays regularly at Notting Hill Carnival right next to his uncle Mikey Dread.
The interview starts about halfway through as Alvin was held up in traffic.
Other Radio of Note
Zoë has also contributed mixes for the BBC’s On the Wire radio programme and worked for BBC China World Service.
Zoë has collaborated with Emmet Keane on his programme Shakedown for themed shows on Heartbreak and Happiness. Listen here:
Part of a collective of Sunday DJs at WNBC, which broadcasts live from the Book and Record Bar West Norwood, Zoë has done a few shows for Out of the Wood:
As part of Sisters of Reggae Zoë has been on Balamii Radio, Soho Radio and Netil Radio.