“A true unsung hero” David Rodigan, BBC Radio 2
From compiling TDK D90s in the early 90s to touring with The Wailers, remixing for Trojan Records and performing in front of thousands at festivals all around the world, Count Skylarkin has been making people dance for the past 20 years – specialising in new and vintage reggae, rocksteady, Jamaican ska, hot swing, jump blues, dancehall, hip hop and jungle vinyl, turntablism, pork-pie hats, dapper suits and guaranteed good times.
Over the years The Count has shared stages, decks and rum with such musical luminaries as The Wailers (2009/10/13 UK Tour DJ), The Specials, Toots & The Maytals, Chronixx, Protoje, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Skatalites, Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Max Romeo, Susan Cadogan, Mad Professor, David Rodigan, Don Letts, Jerry Dammers, Trojan Soundsystem, Benga, Coki, Norman Jay, TEED, Benny Page, Ashley Beedle, DJ Yoda, Alex Paterson (The Orb), Massive Attack’s Daddy G and Horace Andy. In 2015 the Count was invited to appear on David Rodigan’s BBC Radio 2 show, where he shared tunes and tales from two decades in music.
Count Skylarkin counted the late, great DJ Derek among his greatest friends, and they gigged together in excess of 200 times. Since Derek’s sad passing in 2016, The Count has continued to bring Derek’s famous ‘Sweet Memory Sounds’ by special request to festival stages all over the land, among them Glastonbury, Boomtown, Larmer Tree, Wilderness, Shambala and Somerset House.
As co-founder of The Disco Shed he has made headlining appearances at Bestival, Latitude, Leeds, Reading and The Big Chill. Over the years The Count has also rocked The Secret Garden Party, Outlook Festival (Croatia), Common People, Standon Calling, Winterwell, Glass Butter Beach, Notting Hill Carnival and countless others. An authority on reggae music particularly, he has written for several music publications, including Knowledge and NME.
An East Oxford resident of some 17 years, Count Skylarkin is proud to have played at every Cowley Road Carnival since its inception in 2001, during which time it has expanded to become one of the biggest street festivals in the UK. His Cowley Road Rockers stand outside The Bullingdon is consistently the busiest soundsystem at Carnival.
Currently Count Skylarkin is the creator and curator of critically-acclaimed ‘Big Ten Inch’ vintage clubnights at Mirth in Walthamstow, and of course Skylarkin’ Soundsystem at The Cellar, Oxford and The Prince of Wales in Brixton.
“A true unsung hero” David Rodigan, BBC Radio
“Probably Ireland’s best-kept secret” Zone Magazine
“The King Of Rum & Bass” Oxford Mail
“A local institution, providing an essential education in all things ska, reggae and r&b… Club Night of the Week” The Guardian
“Rhythm and blues meets rocksteady, calls round for ska and rock and roll to see if they’re playing out before heading round to drum ‘n’ bass’s place for a party right out of the top drawer” bigchill.net