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Tarrus Riley in Antwerp

Tarrus Riley in Antwerp

Tarrus Riley in Antwerp

By on - Photos by Andrew Thompson - Comment

Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and the BLAK SOIL band live at Petrol in Antwerp, Belgium on April 21. Report!

"Tarrus Riley, he’s a young Jamaican with a magnificent message of love, which he’s been spreading globally both on stage and record. He has upheld the traditions of real authentic reggae music with his songs of hope and conciliation. Both for his own country, Jamaica and for the world. With the sad vaguest negativity surrounding elements of Jamaican music in recent years, he has stood out as a beacon of hope." - David Rodigan.

Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and the BLAK SOIL band visited Petrol in Antwerp, Belgium as part of their European tour. This was the only show in Belgium and was one not to be missed!

We arrived early at the venue to find there was already a queue of eager fans gathered outside. It was my first time to see Tarrus Riley live, and having been an avid fan of his music for a long time, I myself, along with the other fans, were very excited to finally see the man himself. Initially we had a few problems getting into the venue, however the owner helped us out and we were in! As we entered the first room, there was an easy going, chilled out vibe, with a mix of reggae tunes playing, with sound system from I & I Sound. Drinks and food were on offer and people casually chatted. It soon filled up, and before long the main room was open and Mr Dean Fraser and the BLAK SOIL band were warming up the crowd. The anticipation grew, until finally Tarrus lept onto the stage, bounding with energy going straight into ‘Shaka Zulu’. He immediately greeted amazed fans that were buzzing from the upbeat entrance, by grabbing their hands, and getting up close. Before you knew it Tarrus was on to ‘Love’s Contagious’, with the crowd going crazy for every hint and sample of the next song coming “Now this one is called, the skate land killer!”. I couldn’t help feeding off the energy and buzz that filled the venue, and the capturing voice of Tarrus.

Tarrus’ interaction with his fans was undoubtedly the best I’ve seen. He projected himself as very humble, and gracious. In a recent interview with United Reggae, Tarrus explainedI'm the biggest fan of my fans! I really am. The fans make the music go on. They come to the concert and buy the records. The fans are family. Fans make Tarrus Riley. Fans make Omar Riley into Tarrus Riley.” This truly reflects how he interacted with his fans throughout the evening show and after party.

I then heard what I thought was a sample from a Michael Jackson song, I looked over at my partner to see her reaction and she was pointing at the stage where Tarrus was moon walking from one side to another. The crowd loved it and joined in word for word with Tarrus for his cover of 'Human Nature'.

With one surprise after another, the next wasn’t for us fans, but for Tarrus himself. Mr Dean Fraser was grinning from ear to ear, tapping Tarrus on the shoulder, he turns around and Mr Fraser is pointing to the other side of the stage where the guys from Ra works have just unveiled a 6ft high fully hand painted portrait of Tarrus in a wonderful golden vintage style frame. This was an exciting, unique touch to the show, which Tarrus was very appreciative of. Ra works explained to us before the show that they really wanted to bring Art back into modern society, and what better way to do that, than bringing it to us in forms of our icons such as Tarrus. For more examples of stars they have painted check out their website.

Tarrus Riley in Antwerp

Tarrus reminds us of his new album 'Mecoustic', which was launched early that week. He performed a song from the album, which showed a different side to Tarrus’ music, bringing a level of calm within the venue, it was a very enjoyable performance. Within no time, we are back in full swing of things with the unforgettable and unstoppable Dean Fraser playing some killer solos. Literally unstoppable! Tarrus eventually managed to stop the sax solo and reminded Mr Fraser whose show it was, whose name was on the flyer, the ticket and who's tour it was. The crowd loved the friendly banter between the two artists. This was then followed by a battle between Tarrus and Mr Dean Fraser which was a brilliant show of talent, very entertaining and got the crowed fired up for the final part of the show. The connection between Tarrus, Mr Dean Fraser, and the BLAK SOIL band could not go unnoticed; they worked together so well, and genuinely seemed to be having a blast on stage.

Once the show was over the crowd retreated back to the first room for more drinks and sound systems from I & I sound. Before long Tarrus was back out on the mic and ready for more! This time he was meeting and greeting fans, signing posters and having a great time! I felt so much love and gratitude from him towards his fans, I thought this was a fantastic end to a incredible night.

Over the weekend we spent 12 + hours driving from Bristol, UK to petrol in Antwerp. When I told people my plans for the weekend they thought I was crazy! Well Tarrus still has more dates in his European tour and I’m free next weekend, I think maybe it’s time to book another Euro tunnel ticket! Tarrus Riley with Dean Fraser and the the BLAK SOIL band was more than worth the trip and a gig not to be missed.


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