King Hammond is Grammy award winning musician Nick Welsh. In a 4 decade career in Ska & Reggae music
He has in his own words been Blessed to have worked with some of the genres legendary artists Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Rico Rodriguez, Dave Barker, Judge Dread & Lee Perry who in 2002 won a Grammy award for his work on Scratch’s Jamaican ET album.
His other writing & production collaborations have included the 1989 hit single This Is Ska with Longsy D, former Bodysnatchers/Special AKA singer Rhoda Dakar’s albums Cleaning In Another Woman’s Kitchen & Back To The Garage & as a founder member of acoustic ‘supergroup’ 3 Men & Black alongside Jake Burns (SLF), J.J.Burnel (The Stranglers), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), Dave Wakeling (The Beat), Roddy Radiation (The Specials), Eric Faulkner (Bay City Rollers) & Pauline Black (The Selecter) produced the bands only album Acoustic.
What is not so well known is the Ska & Reggae music he has produced for TV (Peep Show, The Osbourne’s, Ugly Betty, LA Ink, Malcolm In The Middle, Desperate Housewives, Pimp My Ride, My Super Sweet 16, Date My Mum) Computer games (Smackdown Vs Raw, Day Of Reckoning) & films (Domino, The Magic Roundabout)
Nick began the King Hammond project in 1987 recording 3 tracks for possible use on Ska compilations two of them King Hammond Shuffle (Ska For Ska’s Sake 1989) & Right On King Hammond (The 15 Commandments Of Ska 1990) did just that but the third Skaville UK took a totally different route when it was covered & released as a single by Bad Manners (the B side Rocksteady Breakfast was also a reworking of a King Hammond song One Dollar Hotel) the King Hammond version of Skaville UK was later used on several compilation albums but more importantly as the theme music to the TV show British Tribes. In 1989 the debut King Hammond album Revolution 70? (recorded in 4 days) was released on Bluebeat Records selling well & receiving good reviews in the music press this encouraged Nick to go back into the studio & record a follow up Tank Tops & Hot Pants unfortunately on completion the Bluebeat label went into liquidation & the album didn’t see the light of day until 1992 when Receiver (a Trojan Records offshoot) issued the 25 track Blow Your Mind containing both albums & some previously unreleased material. At this point it’s worth mentioning that because Nick spent over 20 years playing Bass in Bad Manners & The Selecter these releases never really received the promotion they deserved & it hasn’t been until the last few years that King Hammond has come to the fore in his musical journey in fact during that period although his music was used on countless compilation albums he only put the Kings crown on 3 times they were 1996 Nick produced the Dread, White & Blue album for Judge Dread & played some KH style keyboards on Big Organ over which The Judge announced to the world that King Hammond will play for you. 1998King Hammond tours Europe with Laurel Aitken & Dave Barker providing backing for the 2 legends. 2000Recorded the album Kingston Affair with Dave Barker which originally was due to be released as Dave Barker & King Hammond but to Nick’s disappointment ended up being issued as Dave Barker & The Selecter.
After 15 years in The Selecter Nick left the band in 2006 to form Skaville UK with fellow Grammy winner Drummer Al Fletcher. So far they have released 3 albums 1973?, Decadent! & Devil Beat but in 2010 Nick decided to take a ‘Skabbatical’ from the band to record the first new King Hammond material in 21 years.
Within 8 weeks his ‘comeback’ album The King & I was written, recorded & released on his own N.1. Records label. Nick was now free of any other commitments so for the first time he could promote a King Hammond release properly embarking on a series of live dates in America, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Switzerland & of course the UK.
Since then there has been 4 more albums Jacuzzi, Showbiz!, Dancing In The Garden Of Evil & most recently Hot Skin Music. There have also been vinyl only 45 collaborations with Argentina’s The Crabs Corporation (Bring Down The Birds) & The Sound Syndicate from Spain (Skaville Ole)