Review of “Groovin @ SCR”
September 28th 2012
Groovin @ SCR on September 28th, 2012 featured four acts namely, Kabaka Pyramid, Conkarah, Mackeehan and Jesse Royal.
Rain blessed the proceedings and upon arrival at minutes to nine at the University of the West Indies, Senior Common Room, the Kurfew Band was already on set setting the stage for the rest of the event.
It was a mixed audience of university students and staff most lyming, along with those who made it through the inclement weather to see but a few of roots music best upcoming artists.
Spotted in the crowd were the likes of Nadine Sutherland, veteran singer and former Digicel Rising Stars host, and an actress from Jamaica’s CVM TV series Royal Palm Estate, Karen Harriot. Kabaka Pyramid was also spotted in the crowd, “tekkin it real ez” waiting to take the stage.
The Kurfew Band added good background flavor with renditions of Freddie Mcgregor’s “Big Ship”, Dennis Brown’s “Revolution” and Barrington Levy’s “Here I Come (Broader than Broadway)”.
Jesse Royal, dubbed as the King’s offspring took the stage at almost nine o’clock beginning his set with the song “One Eye Open”. Assuming a posture of closed eyes, seemingly taken to another place by the music, Mr. Royal delivered back to back songs such as “Talk to me”, “Hotter the Battle” and “Patience”. Jigging to his own musical beat, he invited the band to show off their skill until closing his performance with “Singing the Blues” in dub style. It was a short set but still worth seeing this musical phenomenon in action.
With a band change entered Mackeehan. He began with a smooth, moving and meditative “Try”. His next song “Stand Tall” received good support. With the audience fully warmed up, he switched the pace performing Junior Reid’s “One Blood” to a resounding “forward” from the audience. He continued with two more songs at which point he asked Fyakin, known for such songs as “You are My Lady” and “Yadding in the Streets”, to join him on stage. Responding to the recent unfortunate news item here in Jamaica which has gripped the nation, Fyakin added his voice in song to condemn the tragic acts perpetrated reminding all that the music must always carry a message. He too was shown love by the audience as Makeehan closed out his set.
It was after ten o’ clock when Kabaka Pyramid made his entry backed by the One Drop Roots band. He came in strong with “Rebel Music”, immediately dropping his thesis for all to hear. It was then that the Common Room really came alive. With good momentum, Kabaka stirred all with his next song “Free From Chains” which got the “wheel and come again” approval of the audience. Energy high and determined to prove his lyrical prowess, he performed “Ready Fi Di Road”. The crowd no doubt agreed that “King Kabaka run d place”.
Changing the pace, he opted for “I Alone” and “African Queen”, songs that resonated with the empresses in the audience. Closing his performance with “High Windy” a joint effort with upcoming German artist Sara Lugo, Kabaka definitely proved that he is not only ready for the road but cannot be benched with his unique lyrical style. The show closed on a musical high and patrons genuinely seemed happy to have received real music from real people.
Events such as this highlight the growing talent and appetite for live music. Let’s anticipate that the message will continue to stay in the music.
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