Austin “Spiderman” Palmer is the founder and selector for the Mighty Jah Observer sound system. He started his sound as a youth in the late 1960s and has continued through the various trends in reggae, preserving his unique approach to music all the while. Two characteristics mark out his system from all the others who play in Europe and the UK: firstly, his rig is still valve-driven; and secondly, he eschews the “boof boof” dub played by his contemporaries in favour of the more soulful cultural vibes of yesteryear.
For three decades his spot at Notting Hill Carnival has offered a refreshing relief from the ear-bashing found on corners all around, but now things are about to change. Spider is playing his final Carnival in 2011 and then quitting the business to move back to Jamaica. He gives Irie Up a no holds barred appraisal of the scene and why he’s getting out.
more in issue 8