The Story Of Lover's Rock Review

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The story of how Lovers Rock, or 'romantic reggae', came of age during the late '70s and '80s as riots and racial friction exploded around Britain.


Lover’s Rock – a UK branch of emphatically romantic reggae – gyrated onto the scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s, created by a generation of youths struggling with racism; “It was about love man, love.” True to their enthusiasm, the documentary features live performances of hits such as 'I’m In Love With A Dreadlocks' and insight from passionate front runners in the movement (Janet Kay, Dennis Bovell and Maxi Priest). Filled out with tender, yet cheesy, comedy sketches from its patrons, it’s more of a nostalgia device for young black people – many of them women – empowered at the time, than a bulletproof case for a repeatedly underrated genre that would go on to influence Police, UB40 and Culture Club. Interesting to note that there’s a Lover’s Rock scene in Japan, though.

If the idea of a UB40 origin story fills has you hiding in your kitchen, there's a whole lot more to this entertaining doc than the musical influences of an underground scene. The guest interviews are a lot of fun and as a snapshot of a moment in time, it's hard to beat.