“Rebels in the Garden”
- 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.
Tribute to the Resolute “Stepping Razor” Peter Tosh
-October 18, 2012
The 68th birthday celebrations of Winston Hubert McIntosh affectionately called Peter Tosh, “Stepping Razor,” and “Red X” was commemorated with a Tribute in an evening of music and poetry at headquarters of Pulse’s Studio 38 on the eve of October 18th 2012.
It was not only for the yearly celebrations that many patrons gathered at this well supported event, but it was also to recognize the posthumous honor of Order of Merit which had finally been afforded to the Bush Doctor.
This was the recognizable feeling one felt, as you surveyed the audience of varying age groups and walks of life who had come to love this man and his musical legacy. The concert got off to a late start, but while patrons waited The Lloyd Parks Sound provided ample background nostalgia with Bob Marley’s One Drop, Zimbabwe, Ride Natty Ride, Rasta Man Live Up, Africa Unite, and So Much Trouble.
Very soon after that interlude, songs like Downpressor Man, I am that I am, Stepping Razor and Equal Rights filled the hot night air. In the audience was spotted Courtland “Gizmo” White (guitarist), Lead Singer Kumar Bent and Keyboardist Demar Gayle (from the Raging Fyah Band), Mutabaruka, DubKore and also arriving local singer D-Major.
The proceedings began at a quarter past 8 pm with greetings from Ibo Cooper, Lecturer at Edna Manley College and former keyboardist for the Third World Band. After brief apologies, the show began with a poetical tribute to Tosh by Tuffis “In Loving Memory of Red X”, poignantly remembering that Tosh’s songs were those you could survive on so much so that we can “rock to his songs to make us strong”.
This was followed by brief performances by new artists Neil Amos, Clifton Rattigan and L Stitch who gave lively introductions to the audience, then a Band Change accompanied by backdrop tunes such as Maga Dog, Stand Up for Your Rights and African. Next on the bill was Errol Bonnick former lead singer of the Live Wyya Band who performed Jah Guide in a manner reminiscent to Tosh’s haunting voice, much to the audience’s delight. Mr. Bonnick kept it rebel with tracks like My Religion is alive before making his exit.
2006 Digicel Rising Stars group One Third made their contribution with a rendition of Jah is My Keeper and Coming in Hot. After yet another band change, the audience was greeted with music from the Tuff Gong Band's lead singer, son of Bunny Wailer and his sister, Cen-C Love (singer and daughter of the former Wailer).
Dean Frazer also joined the troupe on stage and they performed with Tosh 1, son of Peter Tosh, Vampire, Downpressor Man, Equal Rights, I am that I am and from his upcoming EP Can't find no love. Tosh 1 ended his tribute on a high note. Reggae veteran Bushman quickly rendered Can’t Blame the Youths and two of his own Downtown and Lighthouse.
This was followed briefly with appearances by Copeland Forbes (renowned promoter) and Herbie Miller (former Manager for Tosh) recalling fond memories of Peter. The Lloyd Parks and We the People Band then opened backing Noddy Virtue (2005 Digicel Rising Stars Runner-up contestant) performance of Glass House. His showmanship was as usual spirited and vocally passionate.
This ushered the night’s hot-stepper veteran Pinchers, who wowed the audience with hit after hit, showing he had not lost his Bandelero status. Rinsing favourites such as For Your Eyes Only, Enemies on My Border, Agony, and Sit Dung Pon It he had the audience in a warm delight as he exited the stage after an excellent set.
Next was Warrior King with Never Go Where Pagans Go and Virtuous Woman. The next two sets belonged to the veteran groups The Mighty Diamonds and The Tamlins, who proved that good music only gets better with aging like fine wine. The Diamonds sparkled with hits like Have Mercy, Right Time Come, Pass the Kutchie and I Need a Roof. The Tamlins performed brilliantly showing their unity and togetherness sharing the stage in true honour to Tosh, sweetly delivering tracks like Sitting in the Park, Baltimore, and Crucial Times.
The audience was appreciative of Junior “One Blood” Reid’s hits such classics as One Blood, Fit, General Penitentiary, Shine Eye Gal Guess who’s coming Dinner and Johnny Be Good in tribute to Tosh. His was the closing set before Andrew Tosh entered the stage at 3 minutes to 12 am to usher in his Father’s birthday with a moment of silence.
After the somber moment, Andrew ignited the stage, decked in full white and dark glasses as his Father often was wont to wear, with almost identical vocals, he performed Mama Africa and Glass House. The Mystic Man seemed to be very much present in the tribute of the son. The audience’s thirst had finally been quenched with the multiple band changes the moment they had finally waited for to catch a small glimpse of the man dubbed Prophet and Teacher, in the likeness of his offspring.
He performed infamous tunes like Maga Dog, Legalize It and was joined by Sister Carol on stage who delivered biting lyrics in true “warri-ess” style. It was indeed a joy to share in this momentous occasion and tribute and at minutes after 12 the show was winding down in reggae roots fashion. Andrew Tosh closed the proceedings to what was a memorable celebration of Peter Tosh and it was my pleasure to bring the occasion to you.
“Journey to the Liberated I”
“Study and examine all but choose and follow the good” – The Wise Mind of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I (page 23)
From the moment we are conceived to being born and then exist separate from our Mothers, we are on a journey to ourselves.
Usually we have an idea of who we are, what we call our identity. Identity however does not consist only in my DNA, my nationality or my birth/ given name. It is who I was created to be and will always be.
The environment (inclusive of all internal and external factors) influences this identity but inside our consciousness we come to sift, separate, what we are fed or taught. Most accept the norms, some rebel, and some live the version of themselves they think they should. It’s a choice we all are free to make.
Consider this however: what is destiny? What of a purpose? Should we be concerned with either, or does everything happen by chance?
I say we should be, because each decision is connected, as connected as we are to each other. The journey to self liberation takes on deeper meaning as we begin to “overstand” that purpose or destiny identified, will result in purpose fulfilled. Coordinated actions interconnect to form a positive impact wherever on earth we reside.
I, am on my journey, still discovering, sifting, organizing, deciding and choosing. So should all of us. We must endeavour to keep the mind active and open, to learning and “overstanding”. When “I” am found, the world will not necessarily make more sense but my being here will. If you have ever wondered why you are here then you need to find the answer.
To seek is a verb, and to the art of knowing thyself we must all commit. For “I,” liberation will depend on my ability to diligently seek, and finally find myself. For You and I, who are on the journey, the discovery continues...
“Live Music Living”
In recent times with the surge of talented and upcoming artists forming almost what seems to be a musical army, the live music phenomenon is finding its rightful place as a fruitful form of artistic expression. In recent times, acts such as Raging Fyah, Protogé, Kabaka Pyramid, Chronixx, Jah 9, Jesse Royal and NoMaddz are finding their niche and moving from “underground” to mainstream culture.
Dubbed the Revival, music is experiencing an awakening, an uprising of self awareness. This is not just “rasta “music, it is music that enlightens and makes one think. It truly gives the alternative view of life and the times ahead are exciting to see the fruit ripen to fullness.
What is the appeal of these artists one may ask what makes what they offer different from mainstream stage shows? I will tell you. The live music movement offers the audience an intimate close up one and one interaction with the artiste which often gets drowned in the setting of a stage show. It’s the quality in and originality of the music, it’s the message in the music There are many more to come, many more to burst on the scene to contribute to the change.
“Real music d people want n need” words of the lyrical beast Kabaka Pyramid, this is the music the people hunger for while many will only hear the message, many will listen and begin to question, to lift their ignorance , to come to know themselves and finally become free. As for me… this music will live ….be alive…it carries itself with pride and awakens the roots.
Let’s support the movement.
Who am I?