- October 20, 2012
The Sunken Gardens of the Hope Gardens was transformed once again into the venue for the third, in a series of Roots Garden concerts hosted by the Rootz Underground Band.
The stage draped in the ites, green and gold colours provided a warm welcoming ambiance to the naturally beautiful settings. The show began at minutes to 10 pm with the opening act Chronixx who was backed by the ZincFence Band. The youthful vibrant Rebel opened with One Beat and a Mic then moving easily into Start a Fyah to announce his presence in the garden. The massive showed him love, loudest of that support came from Team Chronixx consisting of Keke Tomlinson, DaddiBarnz, Teflon and others.
Next in line were fresh favourites Modern Warfare, They Don’t Know and Somewhere. Kabaka Pyramid joined Chronixx on stage to perform the lyrically heavy King Kabaka, much to the delight of patrons, as both artists complimented each other. Chronixx then closed out his set with Behind Curtain, Warrior and the distinguishing Odd Ras.
Broadcaster Denise “Isis” Miller hosted the event with backing music from Rockers Sound Station with DJ Gabre Selassie. Support from the Live Music movement came with the presence of Jah 9, Kumar Bent and Demar Gayle of the Raging Fyah Band, Mackeehan and NoMaddz in the audience. Also in the garden was I-Nation, a frequent face and fixture at such events showcasing his catalogue of African centred/ Conscious books and other wares for sale to those interested in not just entertainment but edutainment.
At the band change interval, the Rocker’s Sound filled the garden with sounds of Peter Tosh’s Reggaemylitis, Legalize It, and Johnny B Goode.. The Rootz Underground Band then took the stage and began their usual electrifying performance with lead singer Stephen Newland. The Rootz performed the following from their seasoned catalogue, Herb Fields, Hammer, Farming and Time is an Illusion. Stephen was his usual eccentric self, pouring his entire being into the performance.
This spirited performance paved the way for the original Don Pinchers who was fashionably dressed to impress. He rinsed the classic hits; Enemies on the Border Line, Lift It Up Again, Siddung Pon It, Agony, Request to Denise, For Your Eyes Only, Champion Bubbler and Carpenter. The Bandlero showed all he hadn’t lost his touch. Patrons were rocking and calling for “wheel and come again” by the time he got through his set. He then gave a “buss” to new artists, Ricky West, Macka B and Kush Kush. Each gave their contribution to the steller line up.
Rootz Underground then reentered the stage and did their final number Victims of the System. As usual it was a joy to see this established band in their comfort zone. The finale was about to come, the performance of the legendary Half Pint. He promptly entered with Greetings, Holding On, Landlord and Winsome. Showing versatility in his craft, Half Pint pulled out a performance of The Melodians’ Come on Little Girl. He then pushed homeward with Substitute Lover, Level the Vibes, Be Good to Me, crowd favourite Political Fiction, One Big Family and finally closing his set with Victory.
The show finished on time to avoid a repeat of its premature shut down on the previous occasion. Patrons were fed a bit of the new in Reggae music and sufficient reminder of the roots of the music. Overall a well supported event, a great venue and vibe. Stay tuned for the next review of yet another showcase of original Jamaican talent.