From the 1976 jukebox at The Clash’s Rehearsal Rehearsals HQ, through his own music to his turn-of-the-century radio show, Joe Strummer never stopped loving reggae music and its culture. As Chris Salewicz’s sleevenotes state on this heart-felt project organised by Canada’s Prince Blanco, “Strummer lived on the dub side of life.” In other words, with Joe, anything was possible. He would have revelled in these new versions of Clash classics by a cast of contributors hailing from both Canada and the UK.
A few chills are spilled when the set kicks off with Dubmatix, joined by former Big Audio Dynamite members Don Letts and Dan Donovan, bringing London’s Calling into the 21st Century on a rolling dubscape, with bleakly majestic spirit intact. Each track’s a riot of its own, delivered with a mixture of celebration and suitable recklessness, other highlights including Creation Rockers’ sinuous Complete Control, Infantry Rockers’ haunting Rebel Waltz and John Brown’s Body’s feisty Bankrobber. The fact that proceeds go to the Strummerville charity is just another reason why no one who’s ever been touched by Joe or The Clash should be without this marvellous tribute. For more info, visit www.shatterthehotel.com.