Backbeat Soundsystem are a different beast. In a UK reggae scene that has long eschewed bands in favor of sound systems, Backbeat brings 8 musicians to the stage. While much of the current scene is centered in London and a few other major markets, BBSS hail from far west Cornwall. And, while many of their peers are slavish in their attempt to recreate an authentic Jamaican-leaning sound, Backbeat Soundsystem are not afraid to go in totally different directions, pulling in influences from all across the music spectrum, to create their vision of modern reggae. With all of this, Backbeat stands out in the current scene – pushing the envelope in their studio productions and pumping up crowds in their live set.
Since forming in 2008, Backbeat Soundsystem has appeared at many of the best-known UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Beautiful Days, Secret Garden Party, Greenman, Boardmasters, and many others, as well as toured in Europe and the United States. They’ve supported Madness, Cypress Hill, Arrested Development, Tinie Tempah, The Streets, and Dub Pistols.
Following the success of two self-released EPs and two tours with Easy Star All-Stars in the UK, the band was signed by the U.S.-based reggae label Easy Star Records. Together Not Apart, the band’s debut full-length, came out in 2014 via Easy Star and brought a worldwide audience to this ambitious young band. The Punk Archive called Together Not Apart “…a top, top record and one you need in your collection,” while Shout 4 Music said it was “Packed with conscious lyrics, and buoyed by a reggae riddim filled with energy and positive vibes.” Sentiments which actually well describe Backbeat Soundsystem and their musical ethos.