Roots, rock, Rebel

By Simone Morgan Observer staff reporter

Sunday, January 20, 2013

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LOVERS of roots-reggae turned out in their thousands for opening night of Rebel Salute Friday at Richmond Estate in St Ann.

Patrons blew their horns in support of 'host' Tony Rebel, Professor Nuts, Louie Culture, Etana, Marcia Griffiths and Tarrus Riley.

However, it was Beres Hammond for whom the plastic horns resonated loudest.

There was not a dull moment.

In his 45-minute set, as he rocked his audience with songs like She Loves Me Now, Step Aside, I Feel Good, Falling in Love and Can't Stop.

"It has been too long Jamaica and I am happy to be here performing for you once more," an energetic Hammond told approving fans.

Minutes to midnight, Tony Rebel celebrated his birthday by belting out some of his most popular hits like Fresh Vegetable and If Jah Is Standing By My Side.

The evergreen Griffiths was in great form on Kiss You Once More, I Shall Sing and Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. Her performance went to another level when she invited singer Lukie D for the duet All My Life.

During the first 20 minutes of their set, veteran British band Aswad struggled to make an impact, performing mostly unfamiliar songs.

The mood changed when they went into hits such as Don't Turn Around, On And On and Give a Little Love.

Shinehead, a long-time favourite in Jamaica, failed to spark even when he performed some of his most popular hits like Strive, Golden Touch and Gimme No Crack.

During Tarrus Riley's set there was a downpour which ended the show prematurely, preventing the performances of Protoje and Chronixx.

Ninjaman did not perform, but played the role of guidance counsellor, encouraging the audience and artistes to stay far from negativity.

"Whilst in jail I got the opportunity to reflect on my life and I decided to change for the better. Also our music is deteriorating and is losing its value as the artistes are singing about demonic and negative things," he said.

Mutabaruka, the show's MC, had high marks for the new-look Rebel Salute. "It is a baptism of a new era of how the music should be," he said.




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