Friday, May 20, 2005

Legends of Roots, London Astoria, Sunday May 15

Read on for a report of the 'Legends of Roots' gig, which took place in London recently. These reviews will be a regular feature, and will comprise the experiences of a Wellingtonian (by the name of J) inna London roots scene. While being in London for the past few years, J has seen and heard some of the legends of reggae while at the same time increasing his record collection exponentially. Thanks to J for the following report and stay tuned for more.

"When I heard about this gig, my first impression was how aptly named it was, with The Meditations, The Wailing Souls, Fred Locks, Junior Delgado, and Israel Vibration on the bill – it truly was a night of ‘the legends of roots’. Sadly however, at the beginning of April, Junior 'Jux' Delgado passed away, so as a tribute, Junior’s band and children were to perform in his place. When we arrived a queue had already formed to the end of the street...even if you had a ticket. By the time we got through the doors The Meditations had already started playing, so I sadly missed most of their performance. Next up were the Wailing Souls. Although not all four of the original line up was present, with classics tracks like ‘Fire Coal Man’, or the finale ‘Firehouse Rock’ they were the business, sweet vocal harmonies and great tunes.

Next up was one of the real stand outs of the night for me, Fred Locks. I had not previously heard much of his work, but after seeing him I'd go so far to say his music is essential to every roots reggae lover's collection. He is a big performer on stage with a big beautiful roots rock reggae sound. What I enjoyed most about his set, was along with the sweet lyrics and heavier roots sound, you could also hear compelling and catchy melody's throughout, either through the players or the backing vocalists. Stand out tune for me, 'Vision of Redemption'.

Following on from that, was a very special performance from Junior Delgado's band with one of his children performing vocals. The set was heavier with harder rhythms, and livened the place right up. The performance was passionate and powerful, a fitting tribute to a talented roots artist who will be sadly missed. The final act was Israel Vibration, and embarrassingly I have to admit I had not heard much of their material prior to the concert. I soon realised what I had been missing out on. They are truly an inspirational band, and played a solid set. Cecil 'Skelly' Spence, blew me away, he has a great and distinctive voice. To finish the evening all the performers returned to the stage to perform 'Same Song'.

I feel blessed and somewhat overwhelmed to have been able to see so many wicked acts on one night, any of the five acts could have headlined, such was the class of each and every act on the bill. A fantastic night, with legendary sounds".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up Keep it Up

Red Gold And Green



8:00 PM  
Anonymous ruffness said...

further on Isreal Vibrations, there is a DVD worth checking out. The DVD covers their tour in 1993 in 'Holyland' - Jerusalem. I personally have not seen this but am gearing up for a screening soon.

9:39 AM  

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