Online Reggae Magazine

Articles

Articles about reggae music, reviews, interviews, reports and more...

Michael Rose and Junior Reid in concert

Michael Rose and Junior Reid in concert

Michael Rose and Junior Reid in concert

By on - Comment

We report on the former Black Uhuru members show in London on Carnival Sunday

A sparsely attended Forum in Kentish Town witnessed two veterans who have fought to stay current in an ever-changing reggae market. Former Black Uhuru singers Michael Rose and Junior Reid faced a tough assignment in a one-third capacity crowd wearied by an afternoon at the sound systems of Notting Hill, but their steely professionalism and refusal to let nostalgia rule made this a select gathering to remember.

Despite being announced with little fanfare, Dawn Penn and the Righttrak Band dutifully warmed up the place; building to her smash hit No No No. Roots artist Iqula followed with a fiery set featuring an electric cello while clenching a red gold and green flag in his fist, exiting to the first hearty cheers.

Michael Rose and the Dubline Band took no chances making their entrance, starting with stripped down renditions of Party Next Door, Sponji Reggae and I Love King Selassie, furnished by tinkling piano and hard, reverberated snares. Having the catered to the Uhuru fans, he then pledged allegiance to present thinking by switching on the phase vocoder, bigging up dancehall producer John John and singing recent hits Real Jamaicans and Waan The Herb. Without respective counterparts Busy Signal or Alborosie these duets did lose some of their impact while Michael’s love of call and response vocals meant he had to work the small crowd furiously to get what he wanted. Even so, this was an impressive showing from a man who in the face of changing fashions has refused to go away.

Performing in the UK after a six-year hiatus, Junior Reid has a similar disregard for the foibles of Father Time. Where he differed from Rose, who divided his time neatly between the old and the new, was in the way he and the One Blood Band moved seamlessly from one era or genre to another juggling classics such as One Blood, Babylon Release The Chain and Foreign Mind with modern “one drop” rhythms like Dropleaf, Spanish lyrics, even blending rasta drums with otherwise straight hip hop. As you’d imagine from his Black Uhuru past, he showed no fear of singing others’ material, snatching vocal lines from Ini Kamoze, Jah Cure and Barrington Levy when the chosen rhythm tracks required. His set was near identical to the one he played two weeks previously at Reggae Sundance in the Netherlands yet the difference in audience size didn’t seem to affect him at all.

Promoter Ras Lawi put on a commendable show, choosing a good sounding venue with a sensible smoking policy while ensuring everything ran smoothly and on cue. The turnout may have been a little disappointing but these two fearless performers’ adaptability, strong vocals and determination to keep ahead of the game are the reasons why reggae continues to survive.

Photo: © aixcracker - flickr

Share it!

Send to Kindle
Create an alert

Post a comment

Identification

Optional, will not be displayed or used.
Your comment

Without html.

Gallery


Get the flash player to see this video. Adobe® Flash® Player is a cross-platform browser-based application runtime that delivers uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across screens and browsers.

Recommended Articles

Interview: Protoje (2014)
By Angus Taylor

Latest articles

Wickie Wackie
By Steve James
Top Reggae Songs 2014
By Erik Magni
Sizzla Live in the City
By Steve James
Anthony B at File 7
By Franck Blanquin

Recently addedView all

Article
Wickie Wackie
20 Dec
Video
Maxi Priest - Holiday
19 Dec

© 2007-2014 United Reggae. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Read about copyright

Terms of use | About us | Contact us | Authors | Newsletter | A-Z

Partners: Talawa | Jammin Reggae Archives | DAVIBE Jamaica | Reggaenet.pl | One One One Wear