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Thursday, January 26, 2006

MOLARA SPREADS HER WINGS: Zion Train vocalist leaves band

Molara, the much respected and loved Zion Train vocalist has decided to leave the band and concentrate on her solo work. She will be greatly missed and we wish her luck.

Zion Train were the first band I interviewed for Peppermint Iguana back in 1995 when the idea of a fanzine was a mere thought in my head. I could not have picked a better band to set me on my way; their warmth, inspiration, love, generosity and positive vibrations gave me the confidence to realise the only limits are the imagination and if you want to do something, you can do it.

The Train are more than just a band, they are almost a whole music scene on their own; running their own Universal Egg and Deep Root labels and providing a platform for all things rootical and dubwise.

I can remember now, the first time I heard them. It was on the John Peel Show (bless him) and was the first time I had heard (what I now know to be) ‘digital dub’. It blew me away and sent me on a mission to get my hands on the album Passage To Indica (not the first or last time Peelie had that affect on me). This led me on adventure discovering dub all over again with bands such as the Bush Chemists and Children of the Bong.

Not content with being Zion Train, members of the band have also worked as Power Steppers, Tassilli Players, Abassi Hi Power, Love Grocer and much more; like an extended family that have grown up, and done their own thing but know they can always call the Train their home. And beyond this extended family is an even bigger circle of friends that goes way beyond the label mates, with roots spreading far and wide into the festival/sound system scene.

After that first meeting for the interview our paths crossed on many occasions, and each time they have taken the time to send love vibrations in our direction. Our paths have crossed less frequently over the last few years, but when we met in Bristol’s Trinity Hall last year, the first time for about three years, it was like bumping into old friends.

When I first met them they were all London based, but now they are well and truly implanted in West Wales on their own little ‘farm’, from where the label is run and Dubwaves are broadcast to the world.

Zion Train are a beast that rule the soundsystem world with bass that can bring down armies but rhythms that would move mortal enemies to dance together in harmony. Molara was the princess that soothed the savage beast and radiated love to all around, they will not quite be the same without her, but I am sure they will keep fields and dancefloors resonating to the beat nicely. In 2006 Earl 16, Kenny Knots, Dubdadda and Brother Culture will perform as vocalists.

Molara may have left the Train, but she has not left the scene, she will be performing solo, with the Power Steppers, running her Dub Port project with partner (and fellow Train geezer) Colin. I personally would not be surprised if she also occasionally turned up on stage with the Train in the future.

Bless you Molara, one of these days I am going to take you up on your many offers to come down to the farm for a visit.


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