In 1971 an unlikely Reggae song became a fluke hit. Entitled ‘Double Barrel’ it topped the UK and Jamaican charts.
Dave Barker and Ansel (or Ansil or Ansell depending on where you read it) Collins were both Jamaican born and working for the producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry in the 1960s but joined forces in 1971 to make ‘Double Barrel’.
‘Scratch’ Perry, also known as Pipecock Jackxon and the Upsetter, has been highly influential in the development of Dub music in Jamaica and developed musicians such as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Junior Murvin, Junior Byles, The Congos, The Heptones, and Max Romeo.
Dave and Ansel followed the success of ‘Double Barrel’ with the very similarly styled ‘Monkey Spanner’, which also enjoyed some international success.
The two had an otherwise short joint musical career and an attempted comeback in 1981 was met with little fortune.
There is not that much that I can add to this other than ask you to listen to ‘Double Barrel’ and ‘Monkey Spanner’ and enjoy their very singular sound, even if Reggae is not your thing.
Their music does not feature heavy complicated Reggae full of earth-shattering lyrics, Marley it is not. But distinctive and fun it is and their work can still be heard echoing around some sports stadia around the UK.
My first encounter with their music was when at school of a certain age watching the sixth-form girls dancing to ‘Double Barrel’ in the gym at lunchtime and awakening those powerful male hormones. I can still picture the scene to this day. Sally and Paula, where are you now?!!