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 By Simone Morgan—-

 Sizzla & (in the inset) Luciano—–

REBEL Salute ended on a high note at Richmond Estate in St Ann yesterday morning. Patrons left the two-day festival musically satisfied.

Reggae harmony trio Mighty Diamonds showed exactly what made them hot during the 1970s and ’80s with a well-received set. Their vocals were flawless and sounded no different from their recordings when they belted out the lyrics to Have Mercy, Pass the Kouchie, I Need a Roof and When the Right Time Come.

As expected, Freddie McGregor hit his marker on stage and gave his fans a classical set. From the ‘Big Ship’ boss sang his first line, it was evident a lot of rehearsal and preparation went into his set. During his first 15 minutes, McGregor churned out lyrics to old favourites like To Be Poor is a Crime Prophecy, Big Ship and Push Come to Shove. Between every song, the crowd applauded. The female patrons were thrilled with love songs including Brandy (Missing You Everyday), And So I’ll Wait for You, and Just Don’t Wanna be Lonely.

Freddie McGregor in action!

Freddie McGregor in action!

The singer was in high demand and had to return for a few more minutes where he had everyone doing the ska dance moves to Carry Go Bring Come and If I Had a Wing.

The audience was left wanting more and many questioned why he was not given a longer set compared to other acts who didn’t have much of an impact on the crowd.

Leroy Smart was ‘not so smart’ and earned himself choruses of boos. Just minutes into his set, the singer began insulting the Warrior Love band saying although he didn’t rehearsed with them, they should be familiar with his tunes.

It would appear, however, that the veteran singer was the one ‘off track’ as he stopped after a few seconds into each song seemingly forgetting his lyrics.

After several more verbal attacks on the band, the crowd came to its defence and began booing the entertainer. Not even hits including I Am the Don, Ballistic Affair, and Without Love could redeem him.

Leroy "The Don" Smart & Cocoa Tea

Leroy “The Don” Smart & Cocoa Tea

“I have attended 21 staging of Rebel Salute and Leroy a the first man me ever hear get boo because this crowd is not the rowdy type. The band has been doing a good job all night and they were playing his tunes, him just a try blame them for his mess. Clearly, he is high on something before he came on,” said patron Linval Walker.

The ‘Fire Muma’ Queen Ifrica was blazing and captured the full attention of the audience with songs including Born Free, Lioness on the Rise, Let’s Get Silly, Below the Waist, and Keep It to Yourself.

Earlier in the night, Echo Minott thrilled the audience with his up tempo songs such as What the Hell the Police Can Do?, Mad Over Me, Put Your Hand Pon the Key, Lazy Body as well as other well-known hits from his catalogue.

Patrons couldn’t get enough of the versatile and comical performer who also had them singing along to Lionel Richie’s Hello and Ben E King’s I Who Have Nothing.



Fantastic sets also came from Leroy Gibbons, Fantan Mojah, Inner Circle, Richie Spice, Shuga, to name a few.

The rising of the sun saw magnificent, spiritual and conscious sets from Luciano, Cocoa Tea and Sizzla Kalonji, who were the last three performers.

The organisers of Rebel Salute must be commended for the tight manner in which the set changes were executed, great sound and lighting, and a warm ambience inside the venue. However, there were complaints about the lengthy duration of each day. There were suggestions that a day be added.

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