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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » MONTEGO BAY’S WESTERN CONSCIOUSNESS WAS OVERLOADED WITH PERFORMERS – COCOA TEA AND ROMAIN VIRGO SACRIFICED DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINT!

MONTEGO BAY’S WESTERN CONSCIOUSNESS WAS OVERLOADED WITH PERFORMERS – COCOA TEA AND ROMAIN VIRGO SACRIFICED DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINT!

Patrons enjoying the action on stage at Western Consciousness.
Patrons enjoying the action on stage at Western Consciousness—.

 

By Adrian Frater—

 

An overloaded line-up, which resulted in several star performers playing truncated sets and two of the main acts failing to make centre stage, robbed the 25th staging of Western Consciousness of some of its sheen as several patrons left the venue (theMontego Bay Stadium) unhappy when the curtains came down at 6:30 on Sunday morning.

The show, the first such event at the fairly new stadium, started out in a blaze of glory with early acts like Uprising Roots, Karen Smith, A.J. ‘Boots’ Brown, poet extraordinaire Mutabaruka, the British Invasion – Kiarah Dubwah, True Identity and the veteran King Sounds – Horace Andy, Marcia Griffiths, John Holt, veteran deejay Big Youth, Cherine Anderson and Mr Vegas all delivering sparkling sets.

However, the later acts, which included Edi Fitzroy, Kenyatta Hill, Iyahblazze, Nature, Iba Mahr, Agent Sasco (Assassin), Luciano, Junior Reid, I-Wayne, a dazzling Bounty Killer and Everton Blender, were forced to play rush or shortened sets as at the 4 a.m., cut-off time, the line-up was just half-way through.

In the end, veteran singer Coco Tea, who was billed as arguably the main attraction; and established crowd-pleaser Romain Virgo were sacrificed as, with the morning sun beating down on the venue, the promoters had no choice but to end the show without them performing.

“I feel cheated, I came here specially to see Romain Virgo and I sat patiently and wanted for him all night,” a female patron lamented. “I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am.”

Prior to the early-morning disappointments, patrons got a memorable performance from Bounty Killer, who was far from “cross, angry and miserable”. In a brilliant display, steeped in lyrics and commanding authority, the deejay showed he was a man for all occasions, sizzling with songs such as, Babylon System Haffi DonePoor People Fed UpDown Inna De GhettoMamaRoots/Reality/ CultureCellular Phone and Bad Mind, to a rousing reception.

firebrand reputation

I-Wayne, who performed just before Bounty, lived up to his firebrand reputation with a clinical performance laced with thought-provoking lyrics and telling social commentary. He was in his elements as he delivered songs like, Living in LoveBook of LifeBleacher Dem and One Man Alone, among other hits.

The earlier segment definitely belonged to the evergreen 63-year-old ‘fit as a fiddle’ Big Youth, who had the crowd fully engaged as he combined slick dance moves and playful gestures with his crisp lyrics. He all but brought the house down as he belted out old favourites like, I Pray TheeEvery Nigga is a StarI Jim ScreechyHit the Road Jack andLion in the Jungle.

Veteran songbird Marcia Griffiths played an awesome set in which her versatility was masterfully displayed as she sang and even chanted deejay-style in yet another memorable performance. She was particularly pleasing with her silky smooth rendition of songs like, Give Love A TryDreamland and Closer.

Like Marcia Griffiths, the charismatic Cherine Anderson not only proved a class act but brought sexiness, in good taste, to the culture-dominated event. Songs like RebelGood LoveGood Nanna NanaCan’t Hold Me Down and Hold Him Baby, were done with such a sweet and sensuous swag, that the red, green and gold got waving in unison with her performance.

Nature, a son of Montego Bay, demonstrated in no uncertain manner than he is destined for the big times. It was all superstar qualities on display as he delighted with songs such as World PeaceTrying Man,Mama Africa and Revolution, which showed the massive strides he has been making musically.

Kenyatta Hill evoked memories of his legendary dad Joseph ‘Culture’ Hill, masterfully delivery classics like Zion GateJah Jah See Dem a ComeWearyTwo Sevens Clash and This Train. He had some fans staring curiously as if they had seen a ghost, as while it was his body that was on the stage, the voice sounded exactly like his famous dad.

Mutabaruka was most compelling, using topical national issues such as the breakdown of the family structure and the infamous ‘lotto scam’ to his thought-provoking poems, which included The SystemThe Sound,Bone LieJunk FoodPoor Johnny and The Monkey Speaks.

The performances of Mr Vegas, John Holt, Karen Smith and A.J. Brown mirrored each other in many respects as they were delivered with seasoned professionalism soaked in flair, leaving the fans with no choice but to revel in the sweetness of their music.

The ‘British Invasion’ started with Kiarah Dubwah, who impressed with songs like Jah Will Never Let Us Down and Love is in the Air. She was followed by the class trio, True Identity, who were quite potent with their excellent delivery of Sattamassaga and My Homeland.

King Sound, the leader of the ‘British Invasion’ was powerful, rolling back the clock with both energy and style. He had the crowd all but eating out of his hands as he rocked the venue with velvet-smooth renditions ofBook of RulesGames People PlayBrainwashI Shall Sing and the Nelson Mandela tribute, I Shall Be Released.

 

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