There was an atmosphere of love, support and acceptance at the St Ann’s Fort last Saturday night for the annual Love, Poetry and Song fund-raising concert.
The event, held on the lawns of the Barbados Defence Force’s Drill Hall Beach Range, attracted a good crowd. Hosted by the Barbados Government Information Service, the theme was Safe Sex Is Still Sexy.
During the first half of the annual show which seeks to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, patrons who came early to get the best seating on the lawn, were treated to an array of performances including spoken word, song, and pan.
Red Plastic Bag was in fine form, as usual. His hit song Something’s Happening is still a favourite with all.
Ki’Ann Browne, who is always a joy to watch on stage, did a touching rendition of He’ll Do It Again.
The Mosaic Steel orchestra, led by Ziggy Walcott, was phenomenal as usual with selections that included Peter Ram’s Good Morning.
In the second half, playing right into the theme, spoken word artiste Daveney Ellis, in his piece Confessions, spoke of his undeniable love and attraction for his partner.
His performance enthralled patrons. This was followed by an energetic performance by soca’s rising star Jaoquin, who sang his hit This Place and then romanced the lovers with Barrington Levy’s Vice Versa Love.
Rising performer, Ch’An, brought a R&B and reggae feel to the St Ann’s Fort lawns as she opened with the BeeGees’ hit, How Deep is Your Love and Bob Marley’s This Love. Playfully interacting with the audience, she gave a delightful performance.
No stranger to the Love, Poetry and Song stage, Marisa Lindsay’s powerful vocals caused goose bumps and grabbed the audience’s attention. She performed the Aretha Franklin version of Rolling in The Deep and an original entitled Whatchu Going To Do.
Anderson Mr Blood Armstrong kept the serene mood by initially singing the classic Born Free, but it was not too long before he had the audience on their feet prancing to Mr Baccanhal.
It was so nice, he had to do it twice as the crowd demanded an encore from the veteran performer.
The final artiste of the night was Biggie Irie. Celebrating his birthday, he received a thunderous Happy Birthday and a cake from the organizers.
Irie brought vintage reggae lovers rock to the greens, as he sang a compilation of Jamaican old school songs like Problem by Winston Hussey and and Wasn’t Me Shaggy. There was a chorale of voices as he sang his original Ten Tons of Love, Murder She Wrote.
As Irie sang Nah Going Home, his last song of the night, patrons slowly and reluctantly packed up to leave what was an awesome concert.
The event was staged with the aim of stopping discrimination and prejudice against persons living with HIV, said Barbados Government Information Service communications specialist, Lisa Bayley.
The MC for the night, Bayley spoke of how dire the situation was at the HIV Food Bank, as it was unable to cater to everyone needing assistance.
With a target of over $20 000, proceeds from the concert will be forwarded to the food bank.
“We need to help those who might not be in the position to help themselves,” said Bayley. “It is time for us to stamp out stigma and discrimination on HIV even more so now than ever. It is just another illness that you can get . . . it is something that happens to anyone.” (DB/KK)