NATURAL ITES Formed in 1981, the vocal trio of Percydread, Ossie Samms aka Ossie Gad) and Neil Foster headed a changing line-up of instrumentalists and players known as the Realistics.
NATURAL -ITES...(wheres the photo) (From left): Ossie, Percy and Neil. PERCYDREAD:
Percy 'Percydread' McLeod made his name as a singer/songwriter whilst part of the Natural Ites, a roots reggae combo of international acclaim based in Nottingham, UK. Here's (some) of the story of his personal musical journey, from early days, through his time with Natural Ites and onto making his debut solo album 'Upside Downside'. As far back as I can remember music has been there, my diet of music was broad, never realised at the time. From Blue beat,Mento, Ska, Rock Steady. I'd be listening to stuff by Nat King Cole and Burt Bacharach. I think its the Saturday radio especially. My parents always brought me to parties they would go to, and I'd dance out the peoples' carpet. I would run home from school to play tunes by singers such as, Linval Thomson,Horace Andy,Johnny Clarke.. Having moved to South West London from the now notorious City of Nottingham. I got into this music ting when a cousin of mine played in a band called the Cool Notes. Cousin Loxley asked me to go to one of his rehearsals with him so I did. I clicked with Charlie Keymis (bass) and Derrick and Roddy Shaw, Lead guitar and drums respectively. These guys were really good musicians theyd been playing from when they were at school. I was a roadie for a while when they were backing Desmond Dekker. At that time Rasta levity was also becoming inc**bent on them, this led to a difference of opinion in Cool Notes. Three left and started Blazing Sons. This was made up of Charlie Keymis band (Jah bless) on bass, Derrick Shaw lead guitars, Roddy Shaw drums, Paul Shaw keyboards and vocal and Donald (cant remember his surname) key boards and me on vocal and rhythm guitar. We rehearsed in Derricks mums cellar in Balham, which was being made into a studio. They were doing a few studio sessions for people. The man dem especially Charlie and Derrick showed show me nuff love. I used to write lyrics and go to Derrick (issachar) and say can you put some chords to this? Then one day when I asked him he grabbed the guitar and said you see this, this is a G, major. I did my first gig with this band(Blazin Sons) Natural Ites first break occurred when they appeared on the television show Rockers Roadshow, hosted by Jamaican DJ Mikey Dread, which showcased Nottingham's finest talent. Their debut single, Picture On The Wall, penned by Ossie Samms (now known as Ossie Gad) was first released in 1983 on their own Realistics label, climbing to the top of the reggae charts and went onto become a roots anthem for years to come. Airplay on BBC Radio 1 in particular, widened the band's appeal and fan-base, combined with live sessions for top radio DJ's John Peel (aired on 13 June 1983 with Jah Love This, Jah Holy Hills, I Want Your Love and Suffer) and Janice Long. Further television appearances including Channel 4's The Tube, alongwith constant gigging around the country, helped the single to enter the mainstream British singles chart, no mean feat for an independent reggae outfit. The band's first album, also titled Picture On The Wall, was released to great critical acclaim in 1985.