Reggae in Bridgwater helps mothers in India
The Bridgwater Reggae Sound System puts on eclectic musical evenings in Bridgwater and Glastonbury - and all for a good cause as well.
Dean's reggae empire is run from the Engine Room.
"It started about two and a half years ago in the summer," explains Dean Crago, who's one of the three people behind the Sound System.
"John and Arthur Shearlaw had loads of old good reggae and dub plates that they wanted to play to people, so they got an old sound system, took it down to an old man's working club, stoked up the barbecue at the back, started playing tunes and it all sort of gathered from there really."
In that time, the Bridgwater Reggae Sound System has progressed from organising a club night at the Labour Club in Bridgwater. In 2006, they became the proud owners of their own sound system, purchased thanks to a grant from Somerset County Council.
The Sound System has always been a non-profit enterprise, so the money generated by the paying punters has been put to good use. At the moment they're working with the White Ribbon International Alliance for Motherhood, which is an international grass roots organisation that helps ensure safer births in developing countries.
The Sound System visits Glastonbury and Bridgwater
"Arthur, one of the originators of the reggae night, he's out in India at the moment in a place called Orissa," explains Dean. "He's taking a great deal of the money that we made to help a clinic which deals with safer motherhood. Everything from contraception to gynaecology to training in midwifery skills."
Dean's keen to stress that although ska and reggae feature prominently, you'll hear all sorts played through the sound system.
"We try and make the nights as eclectic as possible," he says. "We try and have acoustic performers, DJs and bands. It's just an opportunity for anyone with an interest in going out and having a good night, it's a good place for it."
All proceeds from the reggae nights go to charity
As well as regular nights at the British Legion club in Bridgwater, the Bridgwater Reggae Sound system also has a residency at the Rifleman's Arms in Glastonbury on the last Saturday of every month.
"We get everything from young people, we get some families coming along, right through to the older generation and everybody in between. None of us make a penny out of it - at the best we might have a portion of chips every month just to treat ourselves, living the rock n'roll lifestyle!"
last updated: 01/05/2008 at 15:25