Jonathan ‘Jonny’ Atkins

Me and Rushie talking about Neggae over a slice of cake and pint! He said something funny that made me laugh!

Me (right) and Rushie talking about Neggae over a slice of cake and pint! He said something funny that made me laugh!

What’s your Favourite Neggae compilation album?
I remember having one which I played a few times through the 90’s, but I can’t find it, either in my collection or online, no idea what it was called. Maybe it didn’t exist? Maybe it was actually a mix that I made off the radio? Doubt it, but maybe? Anyway, a few years ago I purchased Reggae Dance 90’s. I must have been feeling nostalgic that day (or it was on giveaway at Our Price), but it got some airtime, primarily in the car. It had Beats International at no 3, which I loved and used to do the rap bit over and over again. Soul II Soul, Inner Circle and even Jimmy Nail managed to sneak on there. It was and still is a belter of a compilation. F*** it! It’s going on tonight, turned up to the max. I might even put a vest top on and drink some Um Bongo.

And you favourite other 90s music movement?
I don’t remember having any strong feelings for any specific type of music at the beginning of the 90s; that was until the end of Aug ‘94 when Definitely Maybe was released. I was a massive fan of Supersonic, Shakermaker and Live Forever that were released as singles ahead of the album, but I remember sitting down and listening to every 51 minutes of it on its release and it bending my mind. Following that I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the release of What’s the Story? and Be Here Now.
I never really listened to anything else much after that. I simply cycled through the albums from week to week. It changed my life and going out for days to see them play were a real treat and remain a catalyst for some of the funniest shit I remember. Once, we were on the way to see them at Knebworth, and I made Vince laugh on the underground. He inadvertently spat his half chewed burger into an unsuspecting lady’s open handbag on the escalator. We did not have the guts to tell her so we just looked at it and laughed! Priceless! (Actually, that was actually on the way to see Weller at Victoria Park, but I needed to include the story somehow). Anyway, I dabbled a bit with other genres such as Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, etc, etc, but never anything too radical.

Favourite Neggae Banger… GO!
Chaka Demus & Pliers – Tease Me; I go ape shit every time I hear it. I asked my wife if it could be our first song at our wedding. She said no and our relationship has been on the rocks ever since. When I think of all the neg tracks it is the one that instantaneously takes me back to the summer of dread and to a period of my life I was quite fond of.

And who’s the Neggae villain?
Ace of Base, no arguing! I never really minded them, but going through this process they have really started to piss me off. Who the f*** do they think they are? They are officially the third most successful band from Sweden, what a title! It’s a bit like me saying I am the 34th highest goal scorer for WBA (actually not quite that bad, but pretty bad right!). They knocked out the same crap over and over again, just to a different Casio Keyboard pre set backbeat! Tidstjuvar!!

What’s you Neggae Guilty pleasure?
Don’t really have one – do have a reggae guilty pleasure though. It’s Israelites by Desmond Dekker. I don’t feel guilty about loving the song per se, it is maybe one of the greatest reggae tunes off all time. However that fact that I like it because it was on the Vitalite advert and when I hear it I still sing the words from the advert I do feel a little guilty of.

Where were you the day the Neggae died?
I think that it was mid ’98 that the tape player in Norm’s Fiesta broke. He was my main supplier of neg and I think his favourite mix up got eaten by the machine. After that I went cold turkey. I didn’t feel right to listen to it with anyone else, felt a bit like cheating on him.

Finally, some word association. Say the first five words that comes into your mind when you think of the other four Neggae elders.

Vince – music (in general), IT, funk, attention to detail, fussy
Norm – Adam Richman, Robert Griffin III, Ford Fiesta Mk II, Country music, Republican
Gouldy – Spurs, old skool tee shirts and trainers, middle class home owner, pub quiz, stolen lighters
Jamie – Costa del crime, Sexy Beast (the film!!), this, Adriano, estafador



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