If there were ever doubts about the level of talent Barbadian reggae artists possess, then they were laid to rest at the Digicel Bajan Reggae Night. It was the best 100 per cent Bajan reggae show for the decade.
And, no, this talent wasn’t performed to the birds and the trees at the Reggae Lounge in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church. Instead, the Bajans sang to a host of supporters. True, the support should have been more, but those Saturday night/Sunday morning patrons “fulljoyed” themselves nevertheless.
While for the most part the talent was astounding, arguably the show was taken to a greater height after 3 a.m. when Bobo and Simon Pipe teamed up. It was like ebony and ivory had met; and the partnership was dynamic as they performed their 2013 collaboration Activate. You can call him a “lyrical master”, for Bobo was prolific with the lines, and watching him perform was like being taken on a spiritual journey, as he belted out Support Yuh Own, Don’t Come Around My Stash and the anti-domestic abuse number Treasure Woman.
The duo had energy, to boot, and were quite refreshing, with Pipe bringing their short but very sweet set to a close with his hit If These Walls Could Speak.
Why theirs was the penultimate performance, this writer will never understand, since after them the show was in essence over. LRG came afterwards, but even an “encore” from the MC DJ Hard Mout didn’t accomplish much to get the audience, aside from his friends and family, that is, into his performance.
Sluggy Dan’s eight minutes was a show within the show. He, accompanied by Jadon, represented Bim well. Sluggy Dan’s roots rock, one drop number One Girl was a definite hit among the audience. So too was his renditions of Home Grown and the late Garnett Silk’s Mama Africa.
Striking as well was the musicianship of the skilful Barbadian Energy Band, who provided the night’s accompaniment.
If you were present, and your desire was unadulterated energy, then your want was obviously met by the act Loc Dong, featuring Peter Ram. Their set was hype, hype, hype! And James Lovell on percussions was “wicked”. They performed a slew of hits from some of Ram’s older tunes like God In My Heart and Welcome To Barbados, along with covers of songs of Chronixx’s, as well as the 2014 remake Quick Sand Upgrade and the unedited Quick Sand Highgrade.
Hotta Flames was his usual best during his rendition of The World Is Yours and the highly successful Girls Need More Than Sex.
Porgie And Murda made an appearance, as did Fantom Dundeal, Ras Shem, Sister Kay, Supafrost, Nferno, High Fan, and Ch’Ann, whose performance got the ball rolling at 11:38 p.m. Her voice was exceptional as she performed Barrington Levy’s Too Experienced and her original I Wish, accompanied only by acoustic guitar.
Old-time something was back in the session down memory lane. Here, “maxi taxis”, “the cradle”, “milkshake”, all featured, with the compliments of Daddy Mark, Ranking Ricky and Daddy Plume. Ranking Ricky even went further to update his early 1990s hit Detrimental with 2014 issues relative to arson, unemployment and making more babies.
Talent truly abounded. If you missed the Bajan show, you missed a good one!