In the beginning the word was SKA. In 1979 I was called up to the offices of Chrysalis A&R to meet Jerry Dammers and Horace Panter… it was the beginning of 2 Tone… little did I know and probably any of us where this would lead to but over 30 odd years later one illustration I created of the “Nutty Dancer” for the first single by Madness, progressing from the cool standing label of Walt Jabsco created by Jerry (with a bit help from Horace) was to become iconic as the music itself.
In 2009 I had an art exhibition of the designs in Margate. This led to more exhibitions in Brighton, Coventry, London, New York and then to where I live now in Folkestone. The local sea food trader Tony Pye said I should get a few bands to play at the harbour. This led to SKABOUR of 22 bands and 30 DJs. It has progressed year by year to become Ska Splash. 2014 will see another new name or the return of SKABOUR as a co-operative of the ska followers and supporters that have made it and return the chariot it to its ethos of a community festival.
The iconic Teflon “Nutty Dancer” has evolved each year from the original black and white to different two tone tonic suits for each festival and permission granted for its usage of the illustration for each festival. So prepare to skank again Folkestone… swing low sweet chariot!