‘The Story of Trojan Records’ ‘Rudeboy’ Review
Premiering at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival, Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records documents the emerging and ongoing love affair between Jamaican music and British youth culture. Produced by BMG and Pulse Films, the film follows the inception of one of the most iconic record labels in history, Trojan Records. The label is instrumental in introducing reggae and other Jamaican-inspired music genres to mainstream culture. Securing a number of major UK chart hits including music by Tony Tribe, Desmond Dekker and The Maytals, Trojan Records helped define a monumental movement in British culture; re-shaping the cultural landscape into the multicultural society that we still live in today.
Trojan Records’ wider impact on society is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. Jamaican influences continue to be a predominant influence on British subculture directly seen in music, dance and fashion. Rudeboy provides a key insight into how important Jamaican music has been on the current youth experience in the UK.
Trojan Records is named after the flatbed truck that revered producer Duke Reid used to transport his soundsystem around Jamaica. Launched in 1968 by Jamaican expat Lee Gopthal, the film follows how reggae, ska and rocksteady rapidly took off in 1960’s London. Jamaican music grew in popularity alongside the subculture of working class skinhead’s who adopted the music into their own cult movement, leading to its gradual increase in popularity throughout the 70s.
Effortlessly directed by Nicolas Jack Davies, the film includes fascinating archive footage alongside beautifully lit cinematography. The film’s release coincides at an apt time for the Jamaican and West Indian communities, following the heartbreaking Windrush deportation scandals. Rudeboy celebrates the immense contribution these communities have input into British culture. Director Nick adds that the film “is the other side of the swinging, hippy London most people think of when they imagine the cultural revolution of the sixties. This story though, is far more real and continues to have a lasting effect on the generations that have followed”.