45 Plus Years of Channel One in the UK

Channel One Sound System is one of the UK’s best-known and most loved reggae sound systems.  Having taken over the running of their father’s sound in 1979, Mikey Dread and his brother Jah T took the sound to local blues parties and dances.  Mikey took the name Channel One as homage to the legendary Channel One studio in Jamaica.  In 1983, Channel One started playing at Notting Hill Carnival, they have played at Carnival every year since.

GS: You’ve been playing at Carnival for over 40 years, what’s your favourite memory of playing there?

Mikey C1: One of many favourite memories of playing at the Notting Hill Carnival was back in ’85 when we played in a big disused car park between Acklam Road and Portobello Road. The original valve amplifier was string up with 24 x 18” Speakers around the shed and we finished at 9.45pm.

GS: Are you planning anything special for this year’s Carnival performance?

Mikey C1: This year I plan to unleash some new artists aboard Channel One and dig out some vintage dubs I recently came across in a box at home. plus we’ll be running some tracks from our Greensleeves ‘Down In The Dub Vaults’ album.

GS: What track introduced you to Greensleeves Records?

Mikey C1: There was always a large portion of Greensleeves tracks I played back inna the days but couple that stand out are ‘Can’t Pop No Style’ by Hugh Mundell & ‘Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall’ by Wailing Souls.

GS: This autumn will see the release of ‘Greensleeves presents Channel One Soundsystem: Down In The Dub Vaults’, how did that collaboration come about and can you tell us a little about the project?

Mikey C1: After the Greensleeves segment of our Notting Hill Carnival selection in 2022 I was asked to look into the vaults of Greensleeves and suggest which tracks would work as double album for release. These are tracks that Channel One Soundsystem have been playing for the last 40+ years. The project highlights the history of real Roots & Culture music with vocals & dubs on 2 vinyl plates to fulljoy from some of Reggae music’s legendary artists. A lot of the young people don’t know and haven’t heard these anthems so this release is really for the next generation of Soundsystems just starting on the road.