Back in 1953, an eleven year old boy
to look up to his father who was a musician teaching
people how to play musical instruments. At that time
back in Jamaica,
Fitzgerald Gelly started following a sound called
King Lattibuddier and he eventually joined it.
In 1961, Fitzgerald came to England and started
doing a blues spot alongside his friend Mr Mullins.
This progressed to playing at weddings and other
blues parties. However, his love for music fuelled
him to start his own sound system called Lord Gellys.
The original founders of the sound consisted of
Fitzgerald, his brother Lincoln, their brother-in
law and Berry who was the Wizard and in 1964, Lord
Gellys was formed.
Around 1976, Berry left the sound to Fitzgerald and
Lincoln and between the two of them, Lord Gellys has
come to the stage it is today.
Most of the sound members come from a musical or
sound system background and a few were with other
sounds prior to joining Lord Gellys. Although they
all came from various places including Jamaica,
Grenada, New York and London, there is a common bond
that binds the sound together - their love of
Classifying themselves as a juggling sound, Gellys
are quick to point out that they would clash if
called for and in the words of Farda Fitzgerald
Gelly, "if it come to the case of clashing, we can
defend weself"'. Since the sound's inception, it has
been steadily gaining popularity, especially in
their home town of London. A weekend can scarcely
pass without Lord Gellys playing at a venue or
featuring at an event. Walk into any record store
and at least fifty percent of the flyers therein
will herald the name of this sound.
One of their main selectors is Andrew Fresh Kid. At
twenty-seven, he's the youngest member of the sound
and began his life in St Catherine, Jamaica. At the
age of eleven, he started playing on his dad's sound
system, Hollywood, where some of his inspiration
stemmed from. He also admired Glamma Wayne out of
Gemini sound system. Seeing people 'brukin out on
the dancefloor' is one of the things he enjoys most
about being in a sound.
Alongside Black Finger, Farda Gelly's nephew, Fresh
Kid comes up with ideas for dubs. They discuss these
with Farda Gelly and so far one of Fresh Kid's
favourites is Tony Curtis & Delly Ranks 'Tell A Gal
To Leave Your Man Alone'. Delly Ranks, along with
Bob Marley and Beenie Man, is one of Fresh Kid's
The New York connection in the sound comes from
Crazy Ric. Although born in Jamaica, he was raised
in the USA and was also from a musical family. At
around fourteen, he used to watch his dad play music
and then decided at seventeen to join Spectrum
Disco. After being with them for six years, he left
and created his own sound, King Odyssey, which
eventually 'merged' as he puts it, with Lord Gellys.
Crazy Ric's favourite artists include Bounty Killer
and Luciano; hence his favourite dub is Luciano's
'Messenger'. His inspiration to get into the sound
business included Stereomars and his idol was Rory
out of Stone Love.
There are a few Londoners in the sound including
Mikey G, Glamma G and Phil Silver. Mikey and Glamma
are selectors and both got into music around the
ages of fifteen to sixteen. Mikey was not with a
sound before Gellys, but Glamma used to follow his
brother's sound, Mombassa, until he joined Sir
Higgins of Brixton, South London.
Phil Silver is the man who maintains the sound. He
is 'the caretaker', but before Gellys he was with
two South London sounds, Addis Ababa and
Construction ESQ. Although music was not in his
upbringing, he used to sneak out to listen to
There is one other veteran in the sound from Grenada
called Yellow Man. He's been with Gellys for
eighteen years and prior to that was with a North
London sound called St Francis. Yellow Man was
inspired to get into the business by Saxon sound
system and has not looked back since.
So far the sound has toured France, Belgium, Jamaica
and some areas of England, but they would love to go
to Japan for the first time as they believe the
people over there really enjoy reggae music. Ranking
in their most memorable dasha World Movement in
Farda Gelly is very vocal in what he thinks about
the direction dancehall music is going in at
present. He feels that 'when people take the lyrics
and put them into actions, that's wrong'. The
negative aspects should be eradicated because 'music
brings people together in a wider understanding'.
None of the sound members could imagine doing
anything apart from being in the sound business, but
advised up and coming sounds to keep their equipment
in good order and their hearts clean.
As for the future, Farda Gelly wants to go 'up the
ladder until the four corners of the earth can say
I've heard of Lord Gellys', but their message to
their fans is for them to keep on supporting Lord
Gellys because they're here and they're here to stay!
(Interview by the Dainty Crew-
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