THE THOUSANDS of vintage reggae fans who flocked to the Kensington Oval on Friday night did not leave disappointed.
The annual Digicel Vintage Reggae show and dance continues to draw many diverse crowds, with programming that not only looked refreshing on paper, but also took music lovers through a time tunnel of decades and decades of music. of good quality regional artists and international fame.
This year the stage was noticeably closer to the Worrell, Weekes & Walcott booth, providing a more intimate setting, for those who chose to watch the show from the park or from the stands.
Local artists Super Rubien and John King skillfully opened the live performances at night. They were followed by the effervescent Carlene Davis who apparently found the fountain of youth, delighting audiences with her many reggae and gospel hits including Going Down to Paradise, The Way Old Friends Do and Days of Elijah to name a few. only a few. The artist who entrusted his life to God after a battle with cancer, significantly changed his mega-hit Stealing Love on the Side to Praising God all the Time, which was also well received by the large crowd.
She was followed by the inimitable Ernie Smith at 11:45 p.m., who moved the audience with his deep baritone voice with hits like, Pitta Patta, Bend Down, Duppy Gun Man, Life is Just for a Living and the first song that ‘he recounted. the audience he recorded, Tears on my Pillow, in 1967. Smith, who could be affected by the heat of the night, seemed breathless at times, taking long sips of water intermittently during his set that ended at 12:25. .
Ken Boothe, the accomplished performer who gained international fame for his crossover hits, captivated fans with his whimsical footwork and energetic performance during his half-hour set with songs like Train is Coming and When I fall in Love.He also performed his mega-hit Everything I Own which reached No. 1 on the UK charts in 1974. He told audiences that the songs of the 60s were songs “for all time” , unlike the music produced today.
The crowd had no idea that the next one on stage would send the whole Oval into an uproar. Lil Rick and DJ Frog have successfully brought home after hit music that would star Buju Banton, Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond, R Kelly, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye to name a few. The seasoned DJ even introduced a segment called “shop lime music” which featured Josh Turner’s popular Your Man. He also recognized Carlene’s remix of his song Stealing Love, but played the original version to the audience’s delight.
That 20-minute musical peak led to the next performer, Courtney Melody, who performed from her arsenal of hits including Modern Girl, My Lady, Ninja Mi Ninja. He paved the way for Half Pint who took the stage at 2:00 a.m., performing an incredible ensemble including Mr. Landlord, Hold On, Crazy Girl, Political Fiction, Substitute Lover and Just Be Good to Me.
The last performer of the evening was the sweet-sounding Wayne Wonder who took the stage around 2:25 a.m. singing his hits Searching, I Don’t Know Why, Joyride, Slowly But Surely, Saddest Day of My Life to name a few. only a few, before the end of the show around 3 in the morning. The curtain will fall on the Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival today, with the popular Reggae on the Hill, expected to draw thousands of dance hall and reggae fans to Farley Hill in St. Peter. (JH)