Mike “Prince Fatty” Pelanconi has been a prominent member of the reggae and dub scene in the UK since the mid 90s. Prince Fatty, his name implies heaviness and his tunes match and his latest offering is no exception; ‘Prince Fatty – Verses The Drunken Gambler’ is a 10 track album released via Mr Bongo, the follow up to last year’s ‘Prince Fatty meets The Mutant Hi-Fi in Return of the Gringo’.
The new album has been described “as a mix of hip hop fantasy and reggae reality” however there is also an influence of 1970’s disco with a cover of ‘And The Beat Goes On’, which rather than being awful, is actually quite good in a mid eighties slow steppas style. The hip hop influence is heard quite blatantly in the reggae take on Ol Dirty Bastards ‘Got Your Money’, which the ol bastard may be turning in his grave to but the living will be skanking to I am sure.
This is a versatile album; a mix of covers and different reggae styles means you can play it at a house party from track 1 to 10 to satisfy all party reggae needs, however on the flip side each track stands on its own. My personal favourite is the cover of the Andrews Sisters’ classic ‘For Me You Are’ with vocals from Hollie Cook. This is for three reasons; the classic roots rhythm, toasting from Horseman and of course Hollie Cook, who is the most exciting female reggae vocalist to come out of the UK in a long long time..ever?
There are also some serious reggae heavyweights who feature on the album like George Dekker from the Pioneers covering Wet Dreams and Winston Francis singing on a cover of Ali Baba. Horseman features heavily on the album with his talent for toasting and singing and Dennis Alcapone is thrown in for good measure. The album therefore name checks to the past legends of reggae while still looking to the future of it with artists like Hollie Cook. It’s a good blend and one that works well to give the album a depth and richness you wouldn’t necessarily expect from essentially a reggae covers album, something Easy Star All Stars can only dream of.
You can order ‘Prince Fatty – Verses The Drunken Gambler’ on CD or vinyl now from mrbongo.com and the download is coming soon or alternatively you can wait until it’s in the shops on the 17th September.
Listen below to the album or catch him live at Bestival, Camp Bestival, Womad and Reggaesunka. For a true fan the album launce is at The Paradise, Kensal Rise 14th September.
Standout track: ‘For Me You Are’ feat Hollie Cook
Sitdown track: ‘Got Your Money’ feat Horseman
Review By Alex Burnard