BLENDING old school Jamaican rhythms with a fresh dose of UK inspired ska the New Town Kings have shaped the modern sound of the genre.

Despite the eight-pieces fun loving exterior and sound, what the group from Essex are talking about are some hard-hitting issues.

Running throughout their music are political undertones and with vocalist Dabs Bonner giving a voice to many issues which may not being addressed it has pulled a new generation to ska.

Guitarist, Stu McClung told The Gazette: “He’s really got his ear to the ground with regards to what’s going on in the political climate at the moment.

“He’s got a lot to say and it’s cool that people listen and take note. Us in the band have for sure. As you get older, the party calms down a bit and you start looking more at the world around you.”

He added: “I believe music as a medium is the best way of getting a message across to people. Just look at Marley, Dylan, The Clash, or The Specials. All of those guys had something really important to say.

“Having a three-minute tune portray these ideas is a lot more palatable than having someone in a suit rant their ideology at you. It’s amazing to now see younger people taking an interest in politics, hopefully they can create an outlet that gets the generation below them interested too.”

With their new album, Reach Out released in April, 2018 seems to be the year of the New Town Kings.

However, with a modicum of success the eight-piece are not taking anything lightly and after self-releasing the record, McClung said it is not just about the bands hard work, but creating a dialogue with fans and creating debate.

“Reggae is, and always has been, a very conscious and thought-provoking genre,” McClung continues.

“I think with everything that’s going on in the world today people are starting to gravitate towards something a bit more meaningful and true. It’s rebel music.

“Jamaican artists such as Chronixx and Proteje are flying the flag at the moment but there are also UK artists such as The Skints, The Majestic, and hopefully us, that are making people think.”

Having eight different elements to the band might seem like a thankless task, but the guitarist ensures The Gazette that all the members are on the same page.

He added: “It’s incredibly collaborative with us. Everyone in the band writes. Usually someone will come in with a riff, or a hook and we’ll jam it out… twisting and changing keys, tempos and moulding each member’s interpretation of the original idea into the end product.”

New Town Kings will be headlining the SunJam Stage at B Love on Sunday, 8 July.

Full line-up details below:

Things will kick-off at 1pm, the line-up for the SunJam Stage is as follows: 

  •  1pm – Aiyesha Boyes
  • 1.45pm – Aqua Livi and Roots I-Mansions
  • 3pm – Jah Screechy
  • 3.30pm - Solo Banton
  • 4.45pm - The Majestic
  • 6.10pm - New Town Kings

For full details of the acts and to purchase tickets visit