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Tarrus gets baptism by fire in Zimbabwe

Friday, November 03, 2017

HIGH ticket prices and a competing event may have been the factors which led to a low turnout at Tarrus Riley's maiden performance in Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Reports out of that African state indicate that despite a classy performance from the She's Royal singer, the Harare International Conference Centre in the capital was only half its 4,500 capacity.

There was great anticipation in the run up to Riley on Zimbabwean soil, a country which continues to live up to its reputation for being a strong supporter of reggae music from the early days of Bob Marley. Zimbabwe has even developed its own subgenre of the music, know as zimdancehall, with stars including Winky D.

However, one of Sunday's reports indicates the event failed to live up to expectations due to a hefty price tag which ranged from ZW$30–ZW$100 (US$1 = ZW$362). Also, competing event, the Castle Lager National Braai Day celebrations, which was being held close to Riley's concert, had a ticket price of ZW$5.

Despite this, Riley, backed by the Dean Fraser-led Black Soil Band, delivered a masterful two-and-a-half-hour-set, opening with his popular track Love's Contagious, before delving into his catalogue for other tracks including Just the Way You Are, Africa Awaits, and Lion Paw. Riley delivered his anthem She's Royal to deafening cheers.

He is also reported to have paid tributes to reggae greats Gregory Isaacs and Bob Marley, performing their hits Night Nurse and Zimbabwe, respectively. This is said to have gone over well.

Internet reports also said Fraser was also well received, with the Africans showing love to the Jamaican for his skills on the saxophone.