SupaJamma
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SupaJamma

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Reggae

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Manchester Music.co.uk Someone has already made a comparison between SupaJamma and Skindred and amazingly, it would appear that Martin Merchant (Audioweb / Sugar Merchants) has embraced this fully and enthusiastically. You can find dub, rock, MC’ing and the pulsing attack of the rock beat all in here. Like anything before it, there’s a solid groove, capable of pushing mountains along as this cross genre assault gathers momentum – SupaJamma could find themselves on a variety of stages with equal appeal... - Manchestermusic.co.uk


KERRANG - "Ex-Audioweb frontman Martin 'Sugar' Merchant certainly sounds mad about something on this suitably aggro, low-fi, raga metal anthem. Think Skindred really pissed off. Think really fucking cool!" - Kerrang


" - "Ex-Audioweb frontman Martin 'Sugar' Merchant certainly sounds mad about something on this suitably aggro, low-fi, raga metal anthem. Think Skindred really pissed off. Think really f***king cool!""

- Daniel J Lane - Deputy Editor - KERRANG


"so raw and so pure at the same time they are almost unbelievable however I can assure you they are very very real, as real as it gets; they will blow you away everytime - so let them, trust me you'll love it . ." - BBC Radio Manchester


Fusing mettalic riffs with dancehall grooves & a snarling punk attitude Manchester's SupaJamma will inevitably be likened to Welsh ragga-metallers Skindred. Yet whilst both bands share similar components on paper, it only takes one spin of this SupaJamma's debut EP to discover this Northern 5 piece are actually a very different beast altogether. While Skindred opt for slick production values to give their tunes a radio friendly sheen SupaJamma are practically lo-fi by comparrison, juxtaposing frontman Martin Merchant's diverse vocal range with a scuzzy, Rammstein-esque metal assault. Daniel J Lane. - Kerrang


Physical, muscular, solid and with a great attitude for music mixup. The name is Supajamma, and they come from the Manchester area: they're a tough crew of experienced musicians, with a huge musical and cultural basis. This makes Supajamma a truly unique band, building their "urban" vibe on years of reharsals, gigs, listenings and observation on the most diverse musical situations. Supajamma take the lot and mix it together. Simon, bass player of the band, is here with us to tell us something more about Supajamma... stay tuned because thei sound BIG.

Hi Simon, Retrophobic Webmag welcomes you and SupaJamma... first of all I'd like you to tell us something about the band, how you guys got together and started as SupaJamma...

The band grew from a songwriting collaboration between Sugar & myself who have been friends for many years. Sugar’s early influences were largely reggae & indie & my own were punk & indie & with, both of us also liking classic hip hop & 60’s music so it gave us a good melting pot of ideas. We then took the best of the songs to the rehearsal room & teamed up with Lord Bevs who brought his blues & classic rock style to the mix then Steve Wilson joined on keys & after working with a few drummers we now have the rhythmical talents of Dan Adams .

Coming from the Manchester area, I'd like to know something about your experiences as musicians along the "waves" of Manc music, did you get into the ever changing mood of the city during the years?

The Manchester punk scene is where I first became inspired to play, watching bands like the Buzzcocks, The Fall, Slaughter & the Dogs encouraged me to start & then I was further inspired by later bands such as the Smiths, Stone Roses etc. I am also still a fan of the older Manchester bands such as the Hollies & Hermans Hermits. During the ‘Madchester’ period Steve Wilson was the frontman of well known underground Manchester band Smile Like Fools, he then went on to form Wilson who signed a deal with The Cure’s label Fiction. During the same period I was in a band called Raindance one of the many Manchester bands that didn’t quite make it. I then got into running my own label & band management. Sugar had grown up listening to lots’ of reggae & ska & 60’s pop stuff before hooking into bands like the Specials, The Beat & Madness, all the 2 Tone stuff & started singing on sound systems at the local carnivals eventually singing with the legendary Saxon Sound System. Sugar has also released a cover ‘Tears of a Clown’ on the Greensleeves UK Bubblers label & then went onto form the Sugar Merchants in the early 90’s which were very much a blend of the 60’s influenced indie pop of the Roses but mixing it up with reggae. They secured a deal in the US with Electra & were dropped about a year later & then they came back as Audioweb who signed to U2’s Mother label & released 2 unique & successful albums.

What I like most about SupaJamma in the physical aspect of your music: the booming bass, the drums, the riffs, and the Jamaican "in your face" vocals... what did you want to stress out as you started as SupaJamma?

We wanted to make music that had its own identity, with its roots in the music we all have loved but to perform it in a new way. We all love the hip hop beats, strong guitars, strong melodies & the dub vibe. Sugar started the blend with his previous bands & we’re building on it. Some song have a message & others are just about the vibe. With what we are doing it may be a difficult task to establish because it is something different & to cross it over to a large public audience as the world of ‘commercially successful’ music is ‘very safe’ these days & there aren’t too many people taking chances. We love & respect the musical past but are doing something newer as part of shaping the future.

Since your music shows different shades and different colours, I'd like to know what kind of crowd you use to attract to your shows...

The audiences have been very varied, we’ve been on the road with Dreadzone & connected with their audience who are already tuned into the reggae vibe but we’ve also played shows to full on youth audiences & totally connected with them also. So far the audience mix has been very varied & interestingly the rock press has been the first on it with write ups & reviews featured the likes of Kerrang & Big Cheese, something we didn’t anticipate with the reggae & soul influences but maybe it’s a sign of a very wide connection this band are capable of making.

I know you're going to release a single in early 2011... could you please give some more details about?

The ‘Madaboutit’ single is available from the end of January & is taken from our ‘That Was Then, This is Now’ mini album. We shot the video on the rooftop of a venue late in the summer, and it will be the first of several single releases ahead of the album. It will be available on our Stereokill Recordings’ label through i.tunes & e.music; there may be more outlets as we are currently discussing distribution with an American label.

"Mad About It" is guaranteed to make the crowds sweat I think! Have you got more news about an album and live dates across UK and Europe?

Thanks for that feedback Fabio, we band have been busy writing for the new album & we begin recording in January. It’s a heavy blend of rock, reggae & soul, we call the style ‘Rock ‘n’ Soul’. We are discussing plans for the forthcoming 2011 tours with agents at the moment one of the ideas on the idea is sharing a UK tour with Denise Johnson’s (Primal Scream) band Honestly Express Yourself. After that we do intend to tour into mainland Europe in the summer, it depends very much on the interest & support we can generate with the singles & album. - Retrophobic


“Martin Merchant is one of the biggest Mancs ever. Big heart, big man, big voice.



His work as front man with the Sugar Merchants and Audioweb was nothing short of immense and breathtaking, if a little ahead of the times. Then wasn’t a great time for crossing great soul music with great rock music. Neither the music industry or the man in the street were ready for it.



What Merchant (with his ace new band SupaJamma) is doing now is bang on. This nation has embraced soul in the last couple of years. These guys are knockin out a stunning mix of beautiful, heartfelt soul and the dirtiest, funkiest, sleaziest, fuck off rock.



This is the time for SupaJamma.



Deffo.



Clint Boon , April 2010”

- XFM Radio


It's interesting that when you look back, so much is rewritten and very little of what actually went on gets written down in the history books.

Looking at how we present ourselves to the world you'd be forgiven for thinking that very little happened in Manchester except the Hacienda and Madchester. Even Peter Hook's managed to bag himself and the Hacienda a starring role in a film about the Manchester Bomb, which takes the piss (you probably don't know this if you’re not from Manchester but the bomb went off at completely the opposite side of Manchester)

Audioweb were one of those Manchester bands that are far too often overlooked when it comes back to classic Manchester bands of the 90s. Although most of older readers will probably know of them for the cover of "Bankrobber", a song which surely must have been the most played song on TFI Friday after Ocean Colour Scene, we remember them for a classic Anti Racism gig with Kaleef and Cleopatra representing Manchester alongside Ice T and Bodycount at Heaton Park.
We mention all this because Supajamma are the new band from Audioweb singer Martin Merchant. We say new, we had them on our Designer Magazine gigs back in December 2009 at the Roadhouse alongside Denise Johnson Honestly Express Yourself, so they're well versed in Manchester gigs. Along with Merchant the band are Simon Collier (Dog Toffee / Goldblade), Steve Wilson (Wilson), Dan Adams and Bevs. Musically it's pretty much where Audioweb left off with a bit more of a rockier edge to proceedings.

Single "MadAboutIt" features Merchant toasting over heavy riffs and while Skindred are obvious comparisons it actually reminds us a little of Brummie rap combo Credit To The Nation and their classic debut album "Take Dis". The rest of the mini-album "That Was Then, This Is Now" floats from the harder acts tracks like this and "Border" to the more soulful moments such as "Look What You Done" and "It's Alright"

Supajamma's next Manchester gig is at The Witchwood supporting Senser in March

For more info
http://www.facebook.com/pages/SupaJamma/84645129651?v=wall
http://www.supajamma.com


© 2000-2011
Designer Magazine unless otherwise stated.
- Designer Magazine


Once upon a time back in the late 90s and early 00s a vastly underrated band called Audioweb were producing some of the most sublime sounds known to man. Mixing pop, dub, punk, soul, reggae they signed to U2s Mother label and released 2 incredible earth shattering albums filled to the brim with classic pop songs. What could possibly go wrong? It turned out they were far ahead of their own time and the world was just not ready for them. The band went their separate ways with various members appearing from time to time (Maxi the drummer re-appeared as a long-time member of Ian Brown's backing band), but very little was heard of their lead singer Martin 'Sugar' Merchant.

2011 and Martin 'Sugar' Merchant is back with new band Supajamma. Roughly covering similar ground to Audioweb (albeit more rough around the edges), Supajamma have produced 'That Was Then, This is Now' (an obvious reference to the past) a lo-fi mini-album of 6 songs filled to the brim with punk attitude and delivered with such conviction it's hard to believe he ever went away.


You can't get enough of something this good and That Was Then This Is Now is a short sharp shock. Not so much a mini-album as a statement of intent. Highlight of the album is forthcoming single Mad About It and before you know it, it's all over before its begun. Supajamma clearly believe in leaving their audience wanting more.

On the evidence of what they've delivered here, and with a full length debut album currently in the works, Supajamma have shown themselves to be a force to be reckoned with and maybe, just maybe, now its their time.

8/10

Scott Causer - Contactmusic.com


"Fusing pure passion and rythym - I defy you not to be blown away by them, even more incredible than you can imagine live too"
- BBC Radio Manchester


:: SupaJamma ::
31 May 2010 / Stereokill / 6 Trk EP
By JA

Of notable membership of this new Manchester outfit are Martin Merchant (formerly of The Sugar Merchants and Audioweb), co-writer Simon Collier and Ex-Wilson frontman Steve Wilson. These were bands that held bigger stages in an era when I was in a band myself. They were definitely acts to look up to, gathering their own respect for experimenting with music that defied the trends in force at the time. So here in 2010 (which must seem like some kind of science fiction compared to the late 80’s - which is when most of the band members here served their apprenticeships), SupaJamma are causing something of a stir. Martin Merchant is soulful and playfully gathers an edgy push at his choosing, against the bands occasionally dubby outlook. “It’s Alright” could be dressed up as a Mark Ronson / Gnarls Barkley vehicle and smuggled into the top ten, despite the modest, slightly garagey recording. This is very much a back to basics effort, but the whole collection shines on the strength of the songs and the lively, organic bustle of straight up guitar and keys indie soul. Lessons can be given by SupaJamma on how to distil the essence of Manchester past into an original, catchy musical swagger and this is a somewhat refreshing result.


MMMM - Manchester Music


short quote from the whole feature available in the link.................

"Judging by SupaJamma's handful of shows Merchant has lost none of his Juggernaut stage manner whilst his band's ska-rock-sould proves you can marry The Specials & The Clash with truly special results" - Manchester Evening News


"Forget the strivers careerists and a so - called indie market place littered with drama students, Supajamma are a twenty ton truck load of rock colliding with reggae , pure mayhem suss and thrust" - Terry Christian - Radio / TV presenter


Discography

'Madaboutit' - single February 21 2011

'It's Alright' - single July 2011

'That Was Then, This is Now' - mini album September 2011

'When I was Young' - single December 2011

'Are You Ready For We' - album Spring 2012

Photos

Bio

Manchester band featuring the vocal talents of Martin 'Sugar' Merchant, former frontman of mighty electro dub rockers Audioweb & the Sugar Merchants, he was also a vocalist with both the legendary UK reggae pioneers Saxon Sound & Maverick Sound Systems. The band also features veteran Manc' Steve Wilson former frontman of Smile Like Fools & Wilson. They draw their influences from rock, punk, electro, dub, hip hop to name a few, the band blend these vibes to create an awesome new & individual soundtrack. Already a proven live juggernaut of a band with hard hitting grooves, Merchants soulful melodies & spitfire ragga anthems & a falir for make new arrangements for the songs mid-set, SupaJamma are set to kill for the imminent future.. .
On the back of their first 2 singles - the Kerrang playlisted ‘Madaboutit’ & the more mellow cautionary tale ‘It’s Alright’ - the band release a mini album ‘That Was Then, This is Now’ on September 5 to coincide with a series of UK dates. The album will be released on Stereokill Recordings for worldwide distribution through US label 24Hour Service Station.

A few reactions to the band below, rest on the reviews pages.

“Martin Merchant is one of the biggest Mancs ever. Big heart, big man, big voice.
His work as front man with the Sugar Merchants and Audioweb was nothing short of immense and breathtaking, if a little ahead of the times. Then wasn’t a great time for crossing great soul music with great rock music. Neither the music industry or the man in the street were ready for it.
What Merchant (with his ace new band SupaJamma) is doing now is bang on. This nation has embraced soul in the last couple of years. These guys are knockin out a stunning mix of beautiful, heartfelt soul and the dirtiest, funkiest, sleaziest, fuck off rock.
This is the time for SupaJamma.

Deffo".

Clint Boon - Inspiral Carpets / XFM presenter

"Fusing mettalic riffs with dancehall grooves & a snarling punk attitude Manchester's SupaJamma will inevitably be likened to Welsh ragga-metallers Skindred. Yet whilst both bands share similar components on paper, it only takes one spin of this SupaJamma's debut EP to discover this Northern 5 piece are actually a very different beast altogether. While Skindred opt for slick production values to give their tunes a radio friendly sheen SupaJamma are practically lo-fi by comparrison, juxtaposing frontman Martin Merchant's diverse vocal range with a scuzzy, Rammstein-esque metal assault."

Daniel J Lane Deputy Editor KERRANG

"Forget the strivers careerists and a so - called indie market place littered with drama students, Supajamma are a twenty ton truck load of rock colliding with reggae , pure mayhem suss and thrust" -

Terry Christian - TV & Radio Presenter

"Fusing pure passion and rythym - I defy you not to be blown away by them, even more incredible than you can imagine live too"

Natalie-Eve Williams - BBC Radio Presenter

Further reviews & features on the press pages including Kerrang & Manchester Evening News, Contact Music, Big Cheese, Manchester Music, Designer Magazine, Retrophobic..