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British Dependency, anything but colonial

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer writer
Sunday, March 24, 2013


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DON'T be fooled by their name. The Anguillan band British Dependency is anything but colonial.

The trio made their Jamaican debut two weeks ago at the Redbones Blues Café in New Kingston. They are also recording their third album at Tuff Gong in Kingston.

Influenced by Caribbean sounds soca, zouk, calypso and reggae, British Dependency's members are lead vocalist/guitarist 26 year-old Ruel Richardson, 28 year-old bassist/singerJoyah and 19 year-old drummer Jariden Flemings.

"Our album is really about discovery of self. So, the concept behind this album is really a pilgrimage to Jamaica to discover our Caribbean, African and reggae roots and enforce our region as the most powerful music-making area in the world. On the album, you will hear our politics, our pain, our perseverance," band manager Devon Carty told the Jamaica Observer.

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Richardson, who is originally from St Kitts, has strong musical roots. He is the son of veteran banjo player/singer Kenneth Richardson.

He lived up to his musical heritage throughout the RedBones performance and was especially impressive on the songs Do Me This and Selah.

Joyah, who has been playing bass for the past three years, was just as pleasing on vocals with her original song Smallminded People. American rapper, Notorious Big, would have been pleased with her take on his hit Big Papa.

British Dependency's debut will also be remembered for their tribute to Bob Marley with Richardson singing Waiting In Vain, then Haiti, an original song dedicated to the troubled Caribbean country.

After a short break, the band maintained its lofty standards on Angela and Fly Away with Richardson ably supported by Joyah's unique rapping. A high point of this segment was their heavy metal improvisation and performance of Sensi Lion, another original.

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