It was hailed as one of the most anticipated shows by a single Bajan musician in recent times, and so it seemed, judging by the turnout.
About 200 people packed the Tiami Dockside Bar recently to see musician James De Lovell perform music from his latest CD Interpretation of Traditions.
Reggae artist Albert Olton opened the show with his hit song Rock with You and set the tone for the first half which featured some really interesting collaborations. For example, Winston Farrell performed his classic Bus Man with DJ Hurricane and they also teamed up on Stand Up; Adonijah on hand drums and Alan Sheppard, who jazzed up the Spice hits while giving a brief lesson on six-eight timing, and Tony Rebel Bailey on guitar as Adonijah delivered his new rock single Gloria Jean complete with the requisite high-pitched scream.
Of the opening acts, it was Adonijah also doubling on djembe, and Indrani who mesmerized the audience with her version of Redemption Song, and two originals, Star, and Bang.
The second half was all about the man of the night James De Lovell and his young band The Performance.
Adrian Green came in powerfully for Get up Stand Up, with Lovell chanting on the mic, presenting some tough concepts, and truths in his verses.
Lovell was engaging. He spoke in clear tones boldly announcing ever so often that “… we is Bajans! We could do anyt’ing we want!…” and telling patrons to “…keep it straight!”
He took them on a thrilling journey from his now notorious Hybrid Kit, to the standard trapset and the hand drums, showing why he is regarded as a master of rhythm. His Under Pressure was a mind-boggling combination of independent limb co-ordination and tight rhythmic fusions, while Del Congo featuring a wicked solo by Tuk grand master Wayne Poonka Willock had the audience shouting for more.
The music was “sweet fuh days” and undeniably Bajan, De Lovell’s album Interpretation of Traditions really came to life on stage with an energy and a stubborn Bajan groove which could be appreciated anywhere in the world.
Speaking on the album, he said that he plans to use his music and show to “… revive and re-establish the identity of the positive plain-speaking Bajan who is proud, fearless, and honest.”
The launch ended with the promise that those who missed it would soon have another chance to see Interpretation of Traditions live!