Initially formed back in 2001 as an octet featuring founding members Sean Flowered (keys) and Lenny Bignell (guitar), the British self-described “dub fueled ska rocksteady and reggae” act Pama International rose to national and international acclaim for a sound that borrowed liberally from several different sources while still staying broadly within reggae over the course of their first nine full-length albums, as well as their 3 BBC 1 Radio sessions at Maida Vale Studios. And as a result of their sound and their overall collaborative nature, the members of the collective have worked with an incredibly diverse array of artists including members of The Specials, Madness, Steel Pulse, Style Council, Galliano and Kasabian, Billy Bragg, reggae legends Derrick Moran, Dawn Penn, Dennis Alcapone and Rico Rodriguez. Also I must add the fact that the members of Pama International have toured with Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Prince Buster and The Clash‘s Mick Jones among others.
After going on a lengthy 7 year hiatus, Pama International reunited with a new lineup featuring the band’s founding members Flowerdew and Bignell, along with Jewels Vass (vocals), who has worked with Mad Professor and Zion Train; Anna Uhuru (vocals); Bullit (drums), who has worked with The Wailing Souls, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Max Romeo; and Gary Alesbrook (trumpet), who was in an earlier Pama International lineup and has worked with Kasabian to write and record new material that would comprise the band’s 10th forthcoming full-length effort Love & Austerity, which Record Kicks Records will release sometime in the Spring 2017. Of course, before that, the album’s first single, which is currently available on all digital formats and will be released in a limited edition 45 is a “premier rocksteady” rendition of the Martha and The Vandellas‘ soul classic “Heatwave,” that plays with the original’s tempo while retaining its spirit and feel — and you’ll want to do a little two-step to it, too.