Amigo is a 1980 reggae song by UK band Black Slate. It reached No.9 in the UK and New Zealand charts. Its success emphasized Black Slate’s prominence as one of the few UK-grown reggae bands.
Black Slate was formed in 1974, including musicians from England, Jamaica, and Anguilla. They backed several Jamaican singers, including Delroy Wilson and Ken Boothe on their UK appearances, and had their first reggae-chart hit themselves in 1976, with the anti-mugging song Sticks Man, also lined up with Disco Reggae Band under Disco Reggae Band & Black Slate. The record hit the Dutch and Flemish charts as well, after being an underground hit in Antwerp discothèques. They toured the UK for the first time in 1978, and formed their own TCD label, having a minor hit with Mind Your Motion. They also backed Dennis Brown when he played live in the UK, and in 1980 their Rastafarian rallying call, Amigo, was picked up by Ensign Records, and broke into the UK Singles Chart, reaching no. 9. A Dub Album Ogima (Amigo spelled backwards), was released in 1981. The follow-up, Boom Boom only reached number 51. An album, Sirens in the City, followed on Ensign the following year. The band released two further albums in 1982 and 1985.
After a ten-year hiatus they released a new EP, World Citizen, on 15 June 2013, with a UK and European Tour to follow. In November 2014, the band embarked on their first USA tour, with dates across California and Texas. The lineup featured original founding members Anthony Brightly, Chris Hanson, Desmond Mahoney and vocalist Jesse Brade. Their 2014 album Now and Then was released on TCD Records and in 2016 they followed up with Peaceful Demonstration, also on TCD.
When it comes to reggae, much like my feelings about art, I may not know much about it but I know what I like – and I really like this song. Similar to the song from the previous post, before choosing this all I had was a vague recollection about the way they sang the word ‘amigo’ and that was that. Upon hearing this again it gave me a really big, warm hug and brought back some quite happy memories. I love the mellow, fluid guitar solo, I like the sudden stops then restarts in the song, and the happy upbeat rhythm of the tune. The Ogima dub album is a good listen to as well. Big, happy, sunny like from me.