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The Volcano set up was the brainchild of a music entrepreneur from West Kingston called Junjo Lawes (b. Henry Lawes). His path to sound system fame differed from the usual in that he started out producing records in the late seventies working alongside singer and producer Linval Thompson. In fact he could lay claim to one of the first dancehall albums ever released when in 1979 he produced, in partnership with Jah Life (b. Hyman Wright), Barrington Levy’s  classic “Bounty Hunter” album.

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This catapulted the youthful singer to stardom and made Junjo Lawes one of the most sort after producers right at the start of the dancehall era. His productions became all the rage, employing the new on the scene Roots Radics Band who specialised in slower, heavier riddims all mixed down by Scientist or Soljie at Channel One. The hits started to flow in the early eighties with many singles coming out on the Volcano label and its affiliated imprints Arrival and Jah Guidance. With the help of Junjo’s sound, artists like Yellowman, Eek A Mouse, Ranking Toyan, Josey Wales and many others, burst onto the dancehall scene, recording singles and albums which earned them fame both locally and in “foreign”.

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In 1981 and 1982 Lawes had almost non stop success working with a broad spectrum of reggae artists. From more traditional groups and singers like Wailing Souls Johnny Osbourne and John Holt to grass roots artists like Little John, Lui Lepki, Little Harry(b. Claude Campbell) amongst many others. Around 1982/83 Junjo started to contemplate his next move in the business, the Volcano sound system. He had an unlimited supply of music with which he could cut to dubplate and he started to assemble the equipment needed to compete against Kingston’s finest. The sound had their headquarters in Myrie Avenue in Kingston 11 and soon he was surrounded with all the talent he needed to take the sound to the top.

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Perhaps one of the key elements to having a great sound system is recruiting the best selector. In choosing Danny Dread (b. E. Ffrench) as his main man, Junjo couldn’t have chosen any better. Without doubt Danny Dread was, and still is, one of the finest soundmen of all time. If you want a set to have success Danny Dread is the man to guide a sound. Junjo also employed Steve and Bello to look after the day to day running of the sound. During the short period that Volcano flourished (1983-85) Steve and Junjo's brother Papa Mellon also selected the tunes for the sound. Buro remembers the very first night that Volcano strung up their sound. It was held in front of the Kingston Industrial Works on Spanish Town Road and the venue was so packed that nobody could move, and there was “gunshot everywhere, salutes, fences started to beat”. Buro made quite an impact that night and Junjo hired him the very next day saying “yuh haffi deejay the sound”

On the deejay front Buro (b. Donovan Spalding) was perhaps Volcano’s number one mic man, stepping over from the Killamanjaro sound around mid 1983. Always cultural in style the “Original Banton” could ride rhythms all night long, stringing lyrics together without hesitation. Another fine deejay who often turned up when Volcano played out was Josey Wales (b. Joseph Stirling). He was recording for Junjo at this time so it was only right that he should lend his considerable skills to the Volcano set. Another seasoned performer was Ranking Toyan (b. Byron Letts). His deejaying was unmistakeable, delivering his lyrics with an almost asthmatic kind of style. No matter the age of the performer, if they were good enough they played a part. So youthful deejays Little Harry (b. Claude Campbell), who had first appeared a couple of years earlier on Port Morant’s Aces International aged just 10, and Billy Boyo (b. William Rowe), himself first taking the mic aged 9 on Prince Jammy’s, regularly rocked the crowds. Other Volcano regulars were Elfigo Barker (b. Glenroy McPharker), who learned his trade from Stanley Braveman on Prince Jammy’s set at the turn of the 1980’s. Shadowman (b. Junior ...) was spotted by Junjo performing on Little John’s Romantic set and was brought on board right from the start. Buro’s apprentice deejay was Matta Pang aka Prento, and his training continued the tradition of schooling youngsters in the art of deejaying. Like most sets they always had special guests like Yellowman, Eek A Mouse, Lui Lepki, LeeVan Cliff, Dillinger and others passing through on any given night.

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Volcano couldn’t forget the singers and the aforementioned Barrington Levy, dubbed the ”Mellow Canary” for his unique vocal style, graced many of their dancehall sessions versioning many of his classic tunes of the day. One artist who was there right from Volcano’s beginnings was the singer with the nasal voice, Little John (b. John McMorris). By 1983 he was already a youthman veteran, having made his first recordings late 1979 aged just 9. Singers like Don Carlos, Junior Reid, Tony Tuff and Winston Hussey could also be called upon to counteract the deejays on occasions.

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The Volcano sound could be heard playing out 3-4 times every night, in Kingston, Spanish Town and beyond. At this time soundclashing was becoming a regular thing and they frequently had competition from one, two or even three other sounds in the lawn. At one such event in July 1984 at 121 Maxfield Avenue, Volcano came up against Killamanjaro, perhaps the leading sound at the time, and during this dance leading mic man Buro decided he’d had enough and defected over to the opposition. According to Buro Volcano were never the same sound again after this. Shortly afterwards Junjo made plans to take the entire set to America for some dates in New York. What happened then is a little unclear. It seems that the set was searched when it reached New York and Junjo was arrested, charged and subsequently jailed for a long period and this unfortunately signalled the abrupt end of Junjo Lawes’ empire. Sadly this included the Volcano Hi Power sound system, a leading light of the dancehall world.

 

Sources of information

Tero Kaski & Pekka Vuorinen, Reggae Inna Dance Hall Style (1984), Helsinki, Black Star.

Buro Banton interview by Uli Gueldner, Riddim magazine 2005

 

Recommended

Junjo Lawes Discography, compiled by Reggaexx    http://junjolawesdiscog.blogspot.com/ 

 

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Volcano – Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, July 1983

Featuring: Winston Hussey, Fire Melody, Buro Banton, Shadowman, Little John, Ranking Toyan, Peter Metro, Dicky Ranking

Selector – Danny Dread

“Billed as “ their first time in Skateland”, here we have the new sound on the block Volcano playing at probably the islands top dancehall venue. The promoter for this dance, policeman Isiah Laing, knows his music and the crowds surely flocked there. Deejay Fire Melody and singer Winston Hussey handle the early warm up duties before the Volcano’s “big” name artists appear in the music room. Top selector “Commissioner” Danny Dread has an array of Junjo dubplates to play with and he spins selections from the likes of John Holt, Al Campbell, Barry Brown and Scion Success. Scion was a new singer that Junjo had voiced, but he never got the recognition he deserved at this time as the dubplates were all wrongly credited to Sammy Levi. And of course there was Junjo’s monster creation, the “Diseases” riddim. Deejays can’t fail on this and Shadowman with “Volcano Diseases”, Toyan with “Me Name Papa Toyan” and Peter Metro with his salute to the boss on “Junjo Wha’ Mek Yu Bad So?”, all ride this classic eighties rhythm. A great session and a sign of things to come.”

Many thanks to Ruffhouse for this one......

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Volcano – Up Park Camp, Kingston, July 1983

Featuring: Barrington Levy, Josey Wales, Buro Banton, Prince Psalms, Billy Boyo, Matta Pang

Selector – Danny Dread

“ Another date in July, this time the first visit to Up Park Camp for the set. The team up of Buro Banton and Josey Wales was a major plus for Volcano and here they show all their skills over a selection of versions of tunes by Tony Tuff, George Nooks and the Mighty Diamonds. Josey sparkles on “Pass The Money In A Circle”, “Jah Deh Pon Me Mind” and the tale of the broom seller “Bobo Dread”. The “Original Banton” isn’t overshadowed either, coming strong with lyrics like “Badness Take Over” and “Take A Set” which gets the raucous crowd beating down the fence on this one. Gun shots are heard all over Up Park Camp when Barrington Levy takes the mic and performs his massive anthem “Here I Come”. Volcano, Broader than Broadway!”

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Volcano – Spanish Town, St Catherine, circa July 1983

Featuring: Buro Banton, Prince Psalms, Shadowman

Selector – Danny Dread

“Volcano travel to the old capital, Spanish Town for this evenings entertainment. There are only two micmen on show here and Buro takes the lead with “Gun Get Out Of Hand” and “Tell Me What You Want” over a wicked Barry Brown dubplate “Volcano Is The No. 1 Sound”. Melodica player Prince Psalms was resident on the sound around this time and he takes time out to blow a dancehall medley for the massive over the riddim to “Not So Lucky”. Shadowman steps in with his trademark intro “Come Me Just A Come” and proves to be a “Born Bubbler” on the microphone.”

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Volcano @ Kencot, Kingston, circa August  1983

 

Featuring: Buro, Barrington Levy, Toyan, Anthony Johnson, Elfigo Barker, Billy Boyo

 

Selector – Danny Dread

 

“Live and direct from the Kencot area of Kingston comes this Volcano session. The singers carry the swing with Barrington Levy in typically fine voice here. His triumphs include a wicked “Murderer/Robber Man” medley as well as his “The Real Thing” hit. Anthony Johnson is introduced to the crowd and he delivers a tune of “Peace & Love” but sadly he’s gone far too quickly. Sugar Minot’s ”Buy Off The Bar” is kicking up a storm and Billy Boyo, with “Settle For Me”, and Toyan, with “Brown Skin Girl” both sit nicely on the version.”

 

Thanks to Daddy Keimo for this one...

 

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Volcano – Unknown location, Jamaica, circa August 1983

Featuring: Josey Wales, Buro Banton

Selector – Danny Dread

“ We couldn’t work out where Volcano were playing on this night but it does feature their top two deejays, Josey Wales and Buro on good form. “It Must Be Volcano Do It” is the opening chant from Colonel Josey Wales and there are further tales of the “Bobo Dread” and the “Handcart Man” from him. The obligatory playing of the “Unmetered Taxi” is Josey’s cue to celebrate Jamaica’s 21st Anniversary in “What A Bam Bam”. Buro rides the “Bobby Bobylon” riddim for his heartfelt  reality lyrics of ”Living In The Ghetto”. He doesn’t forget the sets reputation either and boosts up the sound in typical Banton style in “Wa Dat, Volcano A Clap”.

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Volcano – Jones Town, Kingston, circa August/September 1983

Featuring: Shadowman, Buro Banton, Dicky Ranking, Barrington Levy, Elfigo Barker, Winston Hussey

Selector – Danny Dread

“Jones Town is the venue for this Volcano dance and Shadowman’s opening shot is the celebratory “Mek We Jam, Jamaica 21”. Danny Dread draws dubplates mainly from Johnny Osbourne and Carlton Livingston here, and its on the riddim of the latter’s “100lb Of Collie” that Barrington Levy grabs the opportunity to deliver his mighty “Murderer” lyrics for the crowd. There’s a great deejay combination from Buro and Dicky Ranking on “We Want To Go Home” and towards the end singer Winston Hussey notes that “He Who Feels It” will know it. Buro then takes this heavy riddim and nails it down with his ”Rub A Dub Dance” lyrics.”

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Volcano – Rockfort, East Kingston, circa August/September 1983

Featuring: Matta Pang, Yellowman, Buro Banton, Shadowman

Selector – Danny Dread

“Five Jamaican dollars will have got you into this Rockfort dance in the east of the city. The musical selection makes it sound like it was recorded at same time as the Jones Town session but although King Yellowman is here briefly with the “Rock & Roll Style” its mainly Buro represented here. His deejay chat like “One, Two”, “St Ann A Weh The Sensi Come From” and “What A T’ing”, over the dance move classic “Water Pumping”.  Its definitely Buro who carries the swing here.”

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Volcano – Bionic Lawn, 30 Windward Road, Kingston 2, circa August/September 1983

Featuring: Buro Banton, Josey Wales, Lui Lepki, Ranking Toyan, Elfigo Barker

Selector – Danny Dread

“Volcano in the east once again, this time at the Bionic Lawn. This session sees an all star deejay line up, but to mix up things Danny Dread has some choice cuts from singers like Johnny Osbourne, Tony Tuff and Barry Brown. Over the latter’s “Nowadays Girls” a concerned Josey Wales announces that he “Can’t Take The Gun Salute” in the dance. Lui Lepki is in a descriptive mood relating his tales of “Brooklyn Juggling” and a recent “Yummy Bakery Robbery”. Other highlights include Buro’s “Lyrics Born In A Me” and Toyan’s celebration of “Woman A Me House”.

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Volcano @ Drive In Club, 120 Maxfield Avenue, Kingston, September  1983

 

Featuring: Toyan, Matta Pang, Elfigo Barker, Shadowman, Lui Lepki, Billy Boyo, Papa Lingua, Buro, Barrington Levy, Little Harry, Little John

 

Selector – Danny Dread

 

“The big timers line up in Maxfield Avenue for this very early September session with only really Josey missing here. Danny Dread “The Commissioner” has some familiar tunes on show but it’s the riddim to Michael Prophet’s “Love Me Tonight” that gets a tough response from Lui Lepki when he tells of “Innocent Youths Get Shot” before the previously unheard of Papa Lingua boasts that “Volcano Just A Clap”. Other highlights are Little Harry reprising the lyrics of “Green Bay Killing” and Barrington Levy’s ode to the good “Sensimillia”.

 

Many thanks to Daddy Ruffhouse for this one...

 

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Volcano vs Black Ghetto International, Montego Bay, St James, circa September 1983

Featuring: Little Harry, Buro Banton, Ranking Toyan, Elfigo Barker

Selector – Danny Dread,

“Volcano was a sound that didn’t promote slackness and to back this up you hear Buro extolling the need for entertainers to have “positive thinking and effective speech”. Maybe in this clash with Montego Bay’s Black Ghetto sound lyrics were becoming negative and it needed a deejay of Buro’s stature to remind everyone. He’s on great form here as he voices his relentless “Non Stop” solo piece, as well as a deadly duet on “Papa Toyan & Buro A Go Chat”. Elfigo Barker is having a good time “Under Me Dragon” and Little Harry is heard, unfortunately only briefly, on “One In A Million”.

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Volcano – Royal Nova Lawn, St Mary, circa September 1983

Featuring: Buro Banton, Shadowman, Lee Van Cliff, Lui Lepki, Ranking Toyan, Little John

Selector – Danny Dread

“A session held at the Royal Nova Lawn somewhere in the parish of St Mary sees the Volcano crew in full swing. With Danny Dread flashing dubplate selection from Little John, Barrington Levy and the obligatory Scion Success. Lone singer Little John hits with versions of his singles “Form A Line” and “Spin Your Roll” but really it’s the deejays running things. Lui Lepki comes with “Going To New York” and “Leggo Mi Shirt” which elicits a good crowd response. Lee Van Cliff adapts the “Get Physical” pop tune but he’s more at home with his “Hold Up Your Hand” piece. Toyan, Buro and Shadowman, all supplying good deejaying, make up the rest of the Volcano crew for the night.”

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Volcano @ Ashanti Junction, 30 Windward Road, Kingston 2, 6th September  1983

 

Featuring: Toyan, Barrington Levy, Josey Wales, Buro, Jah Thomas, Lui Lepki, Liberty, Matta Pang

 

Selector – Danny Dread

 

“Once more at the Ashanti Junction for Volcano and Josey is most certainly here for this one. The crowd roar for him when he fires off “Kingston Hot” and he “gets nervous..and can’t take the salutes”. In “Free Up Gregory” he’s right on point too, coming to the defence of recent detainee Gregory Isaacs. Veteran deejay Jah Thomas can still rock the place and his “Shoulder Move” lyrics causes Danny Dread to “pull it up” more than once.”

 

Thanks to Big Mikey Glamour for this one.........

 

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Volcano – Cassava Piece, Constant Spring, Kingston 8, 7th September 1983

Featuring: Buro Banton, Ranking Toyan, Junior Reid, Hugh Mundell, Elfigo Barker, Barrington Levy

Selector – Danny Dread

“Volcano live in the Cassava Piece area of Kingston and this is one of only two soundtapes we’ve heard that features the late singer Hugh Mundell. A little over a month after this session Mundell was to lose his life violently. The “Diseases” riddim is the backdrop for vocal performances from Mundell and his sparring partner Junior Reid. Reid and Mundell both have a go at the “Betcha By Golly Wow” standard but the bonus here is when Mundell versions his classic Rockers track “Great Tribulation”. Buro boosts up the sound on “Volcano A De Best”, a theme echoed  by Toyan who rocks the place with other numbers like ”Too Young” and “In The Rub A Dub Dance”.

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Volcano – Ocho Rios, St Ann, 8th September 1983

Featuring: Ranking Toyan, Shadowman, Josey Wales, Buro Banton, Elfigo Barker, Barrington Levy

Selector – Danny Dread

“The next night Volcano are on the move again, this time on the North Coast in Ocho Rios. Shadowman with “Cool & Deadly” and Elfigo Barker with “Electric Boogie” let the people know about the latest dance crazes, but its Buro’s “Tek A Set” which really sends the “Ochi” crowd into a frenzy. Another stand out moment is Barrington Levy singing “Mr Money Man” and Josey Wales deejaying the version for “Cowboy Style.”

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Volcano – 3 Piece Lawn, Naggo Head, Portmore, St Catherine, 9th September 1983

Featuring: Buro Banton, Ranking Toyan, Barrington Levy, Josey Wales, Lui Lepki, Little John

Selector – Danny Dread

“This was promoter Brush’s dance and it was held at the 3 Piece Lawn, in the Naggo Head area of Portmore. The main core of the Volcano posse is in attendance, and over a selection of Sammy Dread, Scion Success and the ever present “Diseases” rhythm, the singers and deejays put “Volcano Ina A1 Class” of their own. Barrington Levy get a barrage of “forwards” for an early rendition of his tune “The Real Thing” and Josey Wales has a bad case of the blues in “I’ve Got To Find My Baby”. This recording completes four September nights in a row, showing just how busy Volcano were in the dancehall business.”

***** BRAND NEW SUPER CRISP COPY OF THIS DANCE NOW UP COURTESY OF PEKKA *****

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Volcano @ Princess Road, Kingston, September 1983

Featuring: Josey Wales , Buro Banton, Don Carlos, Elfigo Barker, Barrington Levy, Junior Reid

Selector – Danny Dread

“It’s downtown Kingston for this short Volcano tape and it features hot singer Don Carlos, who’s landed in Jamaica, fresh from New York, this very morning. He sounds in good voice though, as he declares that “Volcano In A Pretty Good Shape”. There are other singers to be heard here too, the upcoming Junior Reid and the established Barrington Levy, who drops his “Dances Are Changing” lyrics for good measure.”

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Volcano @ Braeton, St Catherine, circa October/November 1983

Featuring: Elfigo Barker, Ranking Toyan, Shadowman, Baby Back, Matta Pang, Little John, Billy Boyo

Selector – Danny Dread

“The Volcano crew make their way down to Braeton for this dance. Toyan is to the fore on this one hitting the mic with numerous pieces like “Everything Gone Digital”, “Woman A Me House” and “Heathen A Fight I So”, all done in his very distinctive style. Volcano’s “Prento” Matta Pang is working well too and his comments on “Human Life In Jamaica” being worthless is a sad indictment of what is happening in Jamdown. Experienced soundman Danny Dread has great selection from Barry Brown and Dennis Brown and this makes for another enjoyable Volcano recording.”

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Volcano @ Unknown (Ocho Rios?), circa November  1983

Josey Wales , Elfigo Barker, Lui Lepki, Little John, Ranking Toyan

Selector – Danny Dread

“We are uncertain where this was recorded but it may well have been in Ocho Rios on the North Coast. The Taxi Gang’s dancehall thriller “Unmetered Taxi” take up a great deal of this tape and Volcano’s premier attraction Josey Wales hogs the limelight  too. His lyrics on this riddim are “What A Bam Bam” and a “Bob Marley Medley” and later on he does one of his favourites “Big Iron”. Little John briefly gets a look in on “Get Close To You” and Elfigo Barker showcases his newest release “Two Is Better Than Too Many.”

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Volcano @ Agricultural Showground, Mandeville, Manchester, November 1983

Ranking Toyan, Elfigo Barker, Little Harry, Matta Pang

Selector – Danny Dread

“It’s not often you get a continuous recorded session but here we do. Someone was on the ball and switched the tapes on cue so here we get to hear a full 3 hours of Volcano in session as it happened. Danny Dread’s selection moves from Barry Brown right through to Linval Thompson and in between taking in records from Carlton Livingston, Sugar Minott, Little John, Dennis Brown and more. Toyan and Elfigo Barker are in control for most of the time and it shows just how many lyrics that an entertainer needed for a rub a dub evening.”

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Volcano @ Riversdale, St Catherine, 4th December 1983

Ranking Toyan, Josey Wales, Barrington Levy, Shadowman,  Little Harry, Little John, Matta Pang, Elfigo Barker

Selector – Danny Dread

“The dancehall vibes of Volcano reaches the town of Riversdale in St Catherine and there is nearly a full compliment of Junjo’s entertainers in attendance. Singer Little “Johnny Wonder” is allowed more time and he rinses out a number of his popular tunes including “All Who Gone” on the “Full Up” and “Say What You’re Saying” over the riddim of Anthony Johnson’s “Gunshot”. Other highlights here are Little Harry’s “Joker Leandro” and Josey Wales’ Lord Laro impersonation on “Salt Fish”.

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Volcano @ Ashanti Junction, Windward Road, Kingston 2, 5th December 1983

Buro Banton, Elfigo Barker, Redman, Dillinger, Lui Lepki, Ranking Toyan, Matta Pang, Lee Van Cliff

Selector – Danny Dread

“It’s day after the Riversdale dance and Volcano are down on Windward Road in the east of Kingston city. Veteran Dillinger joined the ranks around this time and he brings his deejaying to the next generation of dancehall followers. In his pieces, which include “Rub And Go Down”, “Dollar Bill” and “Join The Queue”, he mixes up the old and new styles of deejaying. There is also an appearance from Redman, who was later to become Red Dragon, and he utilises his short time on the microphone to voice “Who Wah”. As there’s no singers in sight  it’s the deejays who carry the swing in this Ashanti Junction dance.”

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Volcano @ Buff Bay Community Centre, Buff Bay, Portland, December 1983

Featuring: Shadowman, Elfigo Barker, Lui Lepki, Ray I, Little Harry

Selector – Danny Dread

“Recorded in early December at the Buff Bay Community Centre and it’s another top Volcano session. Lui Lepki is to the fore on this tape with lyrics like “Mix Me Down”, “Westmoreland Shooting” and “Money Move”. At one point there’s a commotion in the dance as someone’s had their bicycle stolen and Lui immediately launches into “Bicycle Skank”. Danny Dread has all the dancehall favourites to hand and there are some good moments from Little Harry, on “Ganja Tea” and the little heard veteran Ray I, with a unity call on “Love A Weh We Want”.

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Volcano @ U.W.I. Students Union, 8 Cedar Valley Road, Kingston 6, December 1983

Featuring: Yellowman, Ringo, Ranking Toyan, Lui Lepki, Barrington Levy, Elfigo Barker

Selector – Danny Dread

“Our last 1983 Volcano session has the crew packing them in at University of West Indies Student Union. King Yellowman’s “Grenada Hot” comments on the crisis on the island and sends out a special request to fellow deejay and real life soldier Major Manzie who’s part of the fighting force in Grenada. Christmas was obviously looming as Yellowman feels it’s time to “Chat It In A Christmas Style” and Lui Lepki backs him up with the “Twelve Days of Xmas”. Adding to the end of year celebrations are teenager Billy Boyo who gets his chance to “Bubble Up” on the microphone and he’s joined by Ringo, back from Gemini’s UK tour, who voices “Hard Days Night” and “Can’t Go To Zion.”

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Volcano @ Payneland, Kingston, circa January 1984

Featuring: Ranking Toyan, Buro Banton, Danny Dread, Elfigo Barker, Shadowman, Matta Pang, Little John, Jesse,

Billy Boyo

Selector – Danny Dread

“Moving into 1984 and here’s a dance on Volcano’s home turf in the Payneland area of West Kingston. There’s been no radical shift in musical selection from the “Admiral” selector Danny Dread with plenty of tunes from Scion Success, Leroy Smart and of course the ever present “Unmetered Taxi” and “Diseases”. This latter riddim provides the backbone for Little John’s “Spin Your Roll” which gets a great response from the crowd causing nuff “lift ups” by Danny Dread. Buro is back in the country from America and he deejays the lyrics of “Praise Up Jah Jah”, a future single. Deejay youngster Billy Boyo also makes his mark here on the Studio 1 “Party Time” riddim detailing the delights of a “Volcano Party”.

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Volcano @ Barbican, Kingston, circa January 1984

Featuring: Ringo, Billy Boyo, Elfigo Barker, Shadowman, Roland Burrell, Double Ugly, Barrington Levy, Major Manzie

Selector – Danny Dread

“Ringo is another returning supa, this time after a successful Gemini tour of England, and he lyrically relates his travelling experiences to the Barbican massive. The “Johnny Dollar” singer Roland Burrell make a cameo appearance both singing and deejaying his way through the “Midnight Hour” standard. There are also quick performances from Billy Boyo, with “Jah Deh Pon Me Mind”, Major Manzie and Double Ugly, his being so short that we couldn’t tell if it was early Ninjaman or not. However Barrington Levy gets all the time he wants, as he’s every bit the dancehall singer of the moment, and here he previews his forthcoming biggie “Dances Are Changing” on the Channel One riddim “Love Me Girl”.

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Volcano v Black Scorpio @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 7th March 1984

 

Featuring: Buro, Josey Wales, Toyan, Yellowman, Lui Lepki, Barrington Levy

 

Selector – Danny Dread

 

“This opens with Buro and his popular lyrics “Volcano Ina A1 Class” as the sound take on Black Scorpio. The Volcano sound is still less than a year old but they are well  seasoned in soundclashes and the boss “Junjo” Lawes is in the place to oversee things. A deadly combination from Toyan and Yellowman, “We Believe, Volcano We Need” has the masses bawling for more.

 

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Volcano v Lees Unlimited @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 21st  March 1984

 

Featuring: Billy Boyo, Lui Lepki, Toyan, Charlie Chaplin, Josey Wales

 

Selector – Inspector Willie

 

“Two weeks later and Volcano are battling again in Skateland and this time Henry “Junjo” Lawes is the promoter. Lees Unlimited are the other sound and they come well equipped with fast talking deejays.  This sounds like the early parts of Volcano’s show and unusually the selector for the night is Inspector Willie out of the King Sturgav camp. He must have felt right at home though as Volcano’s main men for the night are Josey Wales and Charlie Chaplin. There is no big show of sound bwoy lyrics from either of them and they stick to their tried and tested “roots and culture” for the most part.

 

Many thanks to Daddy Ruffhouse for both sides to this session..........

 

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Lees Unlimited v Volcano @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 21st  March 1984

 

Featuring: Peter Metro, Papa San, Welton Irie, Reggae Bob, Kiddy Ranks, Tonto Irie

 

Selector – President Bugs

 

Mixer – Professor

 

“ Lees Unlimited are taking this clash with Volcano seriously and they have roped in two lyrics machines in the form of Peter Metro and Papa San. The latter is really starting to make a mark in the dancehall and his quick, free flowing lyrics is exactly what’s needed for a sound war. President Bugs draws some classic Studio One riddims and San strikes out with “Pack Up & Go Home” backed up with Metro’s “Bubble We A Bubble”. There’s no holding back as San cusses out late arrival Buro and Metro deals out harsh words for Chaplin too. Papa Lees on fire!”

 

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Volcano @ Montego Bay, St James, April  1984

Featuring: Buro Banton, Lui Lepki, Elfigo Barker, Jockey Rider, Pants, Sonny Ranking, Ranking Toyan

Selector – Danny Dread

“The promoter Japanese has tempted the Volcano posse to travel west for a date in Montego Bay and they’ve brought regulars Buro Banton, Lui Lepki, Toyan and Elfigo Barker to rock the area. Buro rails against the badness that seems to “Mash Up We Island” and Lui Lepki, on the riddim to Herbsman Hustling, presents his latest release “You See Me” for all to enjoy. When you hear the refrain “Selassie, Marcus Garvey” this means Elfigo Barker is on hand, urging on the crowd in his tune “Posse Dance”. Joining in the fun are local Mo’ Bay/North Coast deejay celebrities Jockey Rider, Pants and Sonny making for a rub a dub dance to remember.

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Volcano @ UWI Students Union, 8 Cedar Valley Road, Kingston 6,  April 1984

Featuring: Dillinger, Elfigo Barker, Ranking Toyan, Leroy Smart, Trinity, Lui Lepki, Buro Banton, Matta Pang, Little John, Baby Back, Charlie Chaplin

Selector – Danny Dread

“The fast style of the UK deejays is clearly influencing the Jamaican deejay fraternity and on this session, at UWI Students Union, with a few incorporating it into their repertoire. Baby Back is perhaps the most successful here when he manages to wrestle the microphone from the bigger names. Singer Leroy Smart has long been imitated in the dancehall, quite often by deejays, and it’s great to hear “The Don” voicing live versions of his classics such as ”She Just A Draw Card”, “Settle For Me” and “Dance It A Fe Cork”, the latter summing up this Volcano dance very nicely.”

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Volcano @ Lissant Road, Kingston, June 1984

Featuring: Josey Wales, Billy Boyo

Selector – Papa Steve

“This is an hour long session at a venue in Lissant Road, which could well have been the Love Shack Lawn, and this cassette has been edited in Josey Wales’ favour. Consequently you get to hear “The Colonel”, fresh from Canada, running through some of his current hits like “Kingston Hot” and “No Way Better Than Yard”. At one point he has a go at deejaying the fast style but you can tell that he’s not that taken with it. Selector Papa Steve has some fresh music on show from Half Pint and Michael Palmer and Josey entertains the crowd in his inimitable style. “It Must Be Josey Wales Do It!”

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Volcano v Killamanjaro – 121 Maxfield Avenue, Kingston 10, July 1984

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Volcano side: Elfigo Barker, Little Harry, Toyan, Shadowman, Charlie Chaplin, Josey Wales

Selector – Papa Mellon

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Killamanjaro side: Dirty Harry, Little Twitch, Bruk Back, Super Cat, Early B, Buro, Leroy Smart, Hopeton James,

U.U. Madoo

Selector – Ainsley

“Promoter Jah Thomas has got together “two big sound in a one lawn” and they don’t come much bigger than Junjo Lawes’ Volcano and Mr Harper’s Killamanjaro, with big crowds lining up outside 121 Maxfield Avenue, which we think was Frenchies Lawn. These recordings both sound like the early parts of each sound’s action.

Personnel changes in the Volcano camp suggests that all was not well, Danny Dread seems to have recently moved on and Buro Banton has chosen this night to leave and join the ranks of Jaro again. Volcano defend their corner with Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin and the crew getting things warmed up riding Papa Mellon’s selection of Frankie Paul, Cocoa Tea and Carlton Livingston. Not a great deal of specials or burial lyrics to be heard here but highlights include Toyan’s “Cano Pon Broadway” and Josey’s “Natty Dread Stop The Barber”.

Jaro’s section is a lively affair with Dirty Harry, Bruk Back and Little Twitch paving the way for the big guns like Super Cat, Early B and Buro. Ainsley draws tunes from Junior Reid, Barrington Levy and Leroy Smart, “The Don” also being on hand to voice them out live. Sadly these recordings don’t contain the later verbal sparring between Buro, Cat and Josey and Charlie as the clash turned red hot and nasty. Most accounts say this was a big victory for Jaro, and also the beginning of the end for Volcano. For dancehall fans though, to quote Super Cat as he hails Jah Thomas “you keep the biggest dance fe ’84, this a de best dance, biggest clash!”

VOLCANO RE-UP

Killamanjaro side

Here's the link to another 36 minutes or so of the Jaro side to this one courtesy of our good friend Keimo. Many thanks Boss..

Jaro side Part 2

 

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