My fellow former gauchos from UCSB lifted the fans at ACL Sunday with some origial sounding Reggae tunes. Being one of only two Reggae groups to perform at the festival (the other being Slightly Stoopid), they gave the ACL crowd a bit of California’s new spin on Reggae.
You might say, ”Well, I’ve never even heard of these guys?” Really? Their latest album ”Bright Side of Life” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. Not to mention, their 2007 release “Courage to Grow” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. If you haven’t heard of them by now, I guess you just don’t like da Reggae music.
Drummer Wesley Finley was kind enough to take time to answer some questions I had for the guys regarding their roots - going all the back to the days of playing house parties in the small college town of Isla Vista, California.
Josh: I am a UCSB alum, Class of 2007, I saw you guys perform at house parties on DP and Sabado Tarde back when. As great as I’m sure all your success has been since those days, do you ever miss the days or daze as it were of playing those raucous IV (Isla Vista) house parties?
Wesley: We do miss the nostalgia of playing for our original crowds in Isla Vista. If we attempted to do that today there would surely be safety risks involved; we still like to play for our hometown crowd of Santa Barbara but we do it legitimately these days by performing in accredited venues where things go more smoothly.
Josh: What was your best experience when you guys were playing IV house parties on the regular? I know you have some good stories.
Wesley: As you may know, the IV Foot Patrol regularly gave us noise ordinance tickets. One time they shut us down minutes after starting, everyone was bummed, so we moved the entire set up a 2 blocks down at another house with fans and friends all carrying equipment down the street since it’s impossible to drive down Del Playa on a weekend night. It was quite the sight to see. Another show drew a couple thousand people that flooded the streets which we were definitely not anticipating. We’ve also done a couple 4/20 shows that got real hectic.
Josh: What was your favorite drinking establishment in IV? (Mine was the laundry mat) In line with this, did you ever complete the IV Loop?
Wesley: The most frequented IV drinking establishment would have to have been Dublin’s. We had a few roommates that worked there over the years so we would get hooked up every now and then. It was also right down the street from our old practice spot. Tragic as it may be, none of us have attempted the IV Loop. We were more about house parties in the early days.
Enjoy the live photos of Rebelution below, including one of my boy Wesley. Check out Rebelution’s website to keep up with these laid-back Californians, you can count on them to be around for a long time.