After fifteen albums and two decades on the music scene, Aswad remains one of Britain’s best loved reggae bands. Originally led by the trio of Brinsley “Dan” Forde (on vocals and rhythm guitar), Angus “Drummie Zeb” Gaye (on vocals and drums), and Tony “Gad” Robinson (on bass), Aswad is renowned among reggae fans for their rich melodies and compelling harmonies, woven over hard rhythm tracks and inspired horn riffs.
Aswad (a name derived from the Arabic word for “black”) was formed in the Ladbroke Grove area of West London in 1974. Along with contemporaries Matumbi, The Cimmarons, and Black Slate, the band was among the first home grown acts to prove that Caribbean music could successfully take root in Europe. In its early years, Aswad was the only British group to record and/or perform in concert with several top Jamaican artists, including Burning Spear, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. (Bunny, in fact, was known to refer to Aswad as the “Young Wailers”).