South London Reggae Broadcaster Curates Lovers Rock In North London

A Zoom meeting this Wednesday and an exhibition next week in Willesden will help mark Lovers Rock @ 50 #LoversRock50

South London Reggae Broadcaster Curates Lovers Rock In North London

L-R Colin Brown, Leroy Wilson, Kwaku
L-R Colin ‘Cee Bee’ Brown, Leroy Wilson (Arema) and Kwaku (BBM/BMC)

South Londoner Colin ‘Cee Bee’ Brown, who presents a reggae show on Chaaawaaa Radio and is an executive of the Reggae Fraternity UK music sector organisation, will spend the next week curating and giving talks at a lovers rock exhibition in north London.

After spending years researching, interviewing music experts and reggae practitioners, buying old records and magazines, Colin is curating the 1970s Lovers Rock Exhibition Oct. 25-30 at Theorem Music Village formerly BBMC Studios, in Willesden, north-west London.

Colin Brown with Lovers Rock Exhibits
Colin Brown with Lovers Rock Exhibits

In the studio complex where key Jamaican acts such as The Wailers and Gregory Issacs, and British acts such as Janet Kay and Maxi Priest, either rehearsed or recorded, Colin will be giving daily talks 2-3pm and 6-7pm.

The exhibition is a serious attempt to establish the chronology of when UK based reggae artists and bands released their first lovers rock songs. It also charts the evolution from a Jamaican sound to a distinctively British sound, from romantic reggae to UK lovers rock. It is free and one can walk in or pre-book at

Before the exhibition, Colin will be co-facilitating The Lovers Rock Forum: 1970s Revealed Zoom meeting with historical musicologist and International Reggae Day UK coordinator Kwaku. The 7-9pm panel consists of veteran reggae record producer Clem Bushay, vocal coach and reggae scribe Snoopy, broadcaster and former Top Of The Pops presenter DJ Elayne, and reggae group Blood Sisters.

DJ Lady Juicy will be spinning lovers rock records before and after the Forum, 6.30-7.00pm and 9.00-10.00pm respectively.

Although the lovers rock scene has been going for decades, with strong pockets particularly in north-west and south London, it was in 2020 that the genre received mainstream attention, when one of Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ films focused on it. The Forum can be booked at

The exhibition and Zoom meeting mark both African History Month and the 50th anniversary of lovers rock. Bushay posits 1972 as the start of lovers rock. His production of Domino Johnson’s ‘Summer Time’ is one of a handful of 1972 released singles featured in the exhibition.

Incidentally, the genre had various names in the beginning, but settled on one, albeit with different spellings, in the late 1970s.

Whether one spells it lovers rock, lover’s rock or lovers’ rock, the name was inspired by south London music entrepreneur Dennis Harris’ Lover’s Rock label, which released several of the genre’s early classics by the likes of Brown Sugar, TT Ross, Cassandra and Winston Groovy.

Kwaku is a history musicologist, music industry consultant, and the convener of British Black Music Month and International Reggae Day UK. Twitter @BBMBMC | |