Celebrating Birmingham's Popular Music History
I played the mermaid in the 80′s with a band called ‘back to basics’. Have been looking for info on Afrikan Star, 80′rerggae band
Hi everyone and greetings from Germany.
Sorry for poor english.
I found some pictures of the band African Star, I took the pictures by myself in 1981 in the city of Stuttgart / Germany where there was a concert with African Star, Burning Spear and UB40.
I don’t know how to upload the pictures here at the moment and will try to find out.
This was my brother band base in my mother house handworth Birmingham England
If you can email the picture to me thanks you very much
I played drums for Afrikan Star circa 1984…only for a short while. Cambridge May Ball and a tour of Holland. The line up then was…
Danny Lucas – Vocals
Steve – Flute
Ollie – Bass
Rudy – Keys
Pete – Guitar
Congo – Sax
Strangely enough I went on to play in a band called Assagai and the singer was Michael Henry the original singer from Afrikan Star!!
I was in a band call The Androids late 1979, early 1980 and they supported us a few times on Rock Against Racism gigs. They were one of many cool Brum reggae bands around in late ’70s early ’80’s. It was good scene and included Iganda and Eclipse, Beshara and Cornerstone.
I was the founder original drummer for AFRICAN STAR REGGAE BAND we were one of the most hard working band from birmingham was out on the road most of the time playing with all the top bands like steel pulse. eclipse. black symbol . iganda . beshara . conerstone.and many more birmingham in the 80s was the place to be for live reggae music so much more to say will put something together soon as most of us are still playing live music to this day as for me and now playing with X.O.V.A
Yo Skins, I remember you and Jungle and Dean and Donovan I think they’re names were. You guys were so cosmic. It was such a heavy time for me because I was not from Brum and just passing through… RESPECT, https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.jazz.9
Hopefully you can help. I grew up in Handsworth with what I believe was also one of the original members of the band – Donavan Newell. Can you please confirm if he was in your band? If so is he still contactable as I haven’t seen or heard from him for at least 45 years! And would like to know how his life is? MaC
I first saw Afrikan Star perform at a sound system in Handsworth during the winter of 1980. Michael Henry was the vocalist. Brian Nordhoff was the manager. I believe he runs a production company called Elephant House now. He was very cool. The band was incredible. Michael Henry was a powerful presence, but so were all the members. They were so charismatic yet low-key. I remember sitting on the floor of Brian’s flat talking and drinking tea with them many times after gigs.
They performed at a local arts university one night for an audience that was a volatile mix of skinheads, trendy jazz funksters and dreadlocks. The suspense about what would pop off was like none I have ever experienced. After a band of guys in suspenders and Doc Marrtens played, as rumor had it, for a crowd of kids who were National Front supporters, Afrikan Star performed, and a deep peace spread across the concert hall courtesy of Michael’s genteel voice, guru like power and heart throb looks.
Afrikan Star had a song with the chorus “Legalize Ma Marijuana. In a fe way land, they call it Ganja.” that I’ll never forget. It was like Ijah Man Levy but on a West Midlands tip. Wish they had released it. It will always be one of my favorite songs of all time!!!
I will never forget the heavy dialogues between local dreddies and assorted other characters in Brian’s living room in Moseley. Brum was a heavy heavy place. There were so many musicians it was insane. I’m actually working on a book about it that I hope to pulbish one day Jah willing. Peace and luv to all, jennifer jazz
Hi, thanks and respect, Jennifer Jazz, Afrikan Star was one of the best experiences in life, physically and spirituality. Skins the founder member, introduced me to the band, Legand .
I’m now called Dubnine, quite a few videos on utube. have been releasing tracks for years, also I have a record company called Dubtransmissions, with various genre of music, So calling out to the original members, let’s get together. Big luv goes out to Brian orginal bass player, he is a genius
Yo Michael. Add me to your facebook contacts. https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.jazz.9
Seen african starr years &years ago. Did they ever make vinyl if so what. Cheers. D
An old mate of mine Stephen Carpenter played flute with African Star. I saw them when they supported UB40 at the Odeon. Steve went on to roadie for UB40 and the last I heard he was a roadie for Pink Floyd. That was years ago, I would love to know what he is up to now and where he is
We booked Afrikan Star to play in Newtown, Powys. Wales. 2 or 3 times at the big arts centre there. I think a friend of mine Sue used to go out with one of the group.
Always a great band. Someone said they inherited old UB40 kit to tour with?
..i used to play in a band called Arize..between 1987-1989…even tho we had company interest..we never signed that deal…a lot of our demos were lost years ago…it be great if someone can upload something of Arize on youtube…we were a multi cultural reggae band …with four main singers..i played drums but also sang and back lead and back vocal……two of the other singers Neli and Tappa played sax and trumpet..along with Henry (bass and vocals)) and myself…great times..!
Years searching about this group. Afrikan Star played in 1981 july 27 th in Baiona (Basque Country but officially France) opened for Burning Spear and UB 40. Was a surprise. Was announced Capital Letters. I´ve recorded three songs and I´ve the record yet. Songs like “Living in the system”.
Sorry for my bad english
I recognised Michael Henry in a big photo of Afrikan Star in a brilliant exhibition now on at MAC of Handsworth photography project in 1979. Remember seeing him playing with John Richards in Assegai at the Acafess club. Happy days!
Would love to get a copy of the songs you recorded from the gig of African Star, I can remember that the music was great when I saw them in 1981…
If you would like to get in contact with me pls mail to Jez who is the webmaster of this website.
Thanks in advance and blessings
It’s great to read all the comments about Afrikan Star here. They were my favourite band in the 80’s. I remember Stevie’s amazing riffs on the flute and I knew I had to learn to play that instrument after my first experience of seeing them perform. They were all together a fantastic band. To this day, I miss their performances!
Fond memories of African Star. The one and only time I have ever organised a reggae concert was to book African Star to play Wolverhampton Polytechnic Students Union as a benefit gig for the steel workers strike in the Thatcher era. One of the best reggae experiences ever!
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