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Yellowman at Brixton Hootananny

Yellowman at Brixton Hootananny

Yellowman at Brixton Hootananny

By on - Photos by Adelina Royal - Comment

The vibes had to be experienced to be believed.


Some people are born entertainers. Tippa Irie has it. If Yellowman could get it from his blood he could bottle it and sell it. Hence another heaving joyous occasion when Winston Foster made his second appearance at the Hootananny on Thursday night.

Dressed like he’d come back from a jog around his mountain home - in a Jamaican flag bandana and air Jordan vest and sneaks – King Yellow played a very similar set to 2 years ago. To an adoring crowd he served up classics including Nobody Move, 226 Super Mix, I’m Getting Married and Blueberry Hill – and foundation segues of Toots & The Maytals 54-46 and Bam Bam, Ernie Smith’s Duppy or A Gunman, and the Itals In Dis Yah Time.

Yellowman in Brixton

But it wasn’t a carbon copy of 2009. The Sagittarius Band was minus two members due to paperwork issues and was bolstered by two of the Rasites (who backed the Abyssinians in March). Yet the union was seamless – adding an even more explosive rock guitar flavour to the minor key Lost Mi Lover than before.

Those who compare today’s Yellowman’s voice and technique to the days of old are missing the point. This is a completely different Yellowman: free of intoxicants and slackness -  bar a little crotch grabbing, and some cheeky inter-song banter - fighting fit, and overflowing with the energy that comes from surviving cancer and everything else life can throw at a man. And thanks to his longstanding affection for England the vibes had to be experienced to be believed. Just being around him uplifted the souls of people who would get a less than adequate amount of sleep before heading into work the next day.

Support came from the honey tones of Brighton’s Ruben Da Silva, singing over Roots Garden and Disciples tracks spun by Brother Culture and MC Trooper of Jah Revelation Muzik. He got an encore, as did Yellowman, who held promoter Cecil Reuben’s hand aloft in praise – and rightly so.


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