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Junior Murvin and Willie Williams live in London

Junior Murvin and Willie Williams live in London

Junior Murvin and Willie Williams live in London

By on - Photos by Theresa Emmanuel - 1 comment

Two voices, two bands, one great evening.

Two weeks after Little John and Josey Wales took Brixton back to the eighties in tribute to Sugar Minott, the late seventies were in style at the Hootananny once again. On an unusually hot summer night two veteran singers, each of whose biggest hits were covered by punk group the Clash, demonstrated a still scorching mutual ability to entertain.

Introduced as "a legend of Studio 1" by promoter Cecil Reuben, the St Ann parish-born Willie Williams answered in kind. Attired in white, he sang on a series of rhythms launched by the label: Rockforth Rock (The Unification), Heavenless (Music Maker) and of course, Real Rock (Armagideon Time). To the drum and bass of the Hootananny's own Artist band, he brought his knees up to his chest for tough steppers fare like Messenger Man and Home Sweet Home. All that was missing was his self-produced classic Unity, originally released on the In Land label. But having attended Haile Selassie's birthday celebrations the night before he had this unity message for the audience "You can't love the Creator unless you love the person in front of you" delivered in his trademark cool drawl.

Junior MurvinHe was followed by Junior Murvin, dressed in a red, yellow and blue dashiki, who cut a less active yet equally riveting figure on stage. Starting with one of his greatest Lee Perry recordings, Roots Train Number One, he caused the venue to erupt at the first sound of his falsetto voice. But as well as hits like Badman Posse (for Mikey Dread) and Cool Out Son (for Joe Gibbs) he also shared his passion for American crooners Ben E King and Nat King Cole, whose lower registers he was perfectly able to imitate. It is his unblemished falsetto, however, that found him fame and when he held the long notes the people went wild. On returning to the spotlight to sing Police and Thieves, the anthem of the troubled 1976 Notting Hill Carnival, the message was not lost after 35 years, with crime and police brutality still in evidence. He was ably backed by Desmond Dekker's 007 Band.

PA support came from the UK's Bunny Melody who braved the heat in leather trousers. As well as new single Just Go, he gave an impressive rendition of Cliff Richard's Miss You Nights - as reworked by Lloyd Brown on his last album 'Cornerstone'.

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Read comments (1)

Posted by black mamba on 12.24.2011
..Junior Murvin performed in London, 2011 where does he live? in Jamaica or in England?

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