Acts Warm Music Fest

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 24, 2014    

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HOLYWELL Recreational Park's chilly climbs took on a life of its own on Saturday's opening night of the two-day Blue Mountain Music Festival.

Every artiste who took the stage made mention of the less that tropical air.

Tanya Stephens blamed the altitude and thin air, along with old age, when she forgot the lines to one of her popular tracks; Kabaka Pyramid paid respect to all the persons who could just wear one layer of clothing — he was wearing three; and reggae's man- of-the-moment Chronixx repeated: "The breeze cold, eeh?!!".

A strong line-up, however, allowed patrons to forget the temperature and be warmed by the pulsating sounds of reggae.

Dub sister Jah9 was impressive as she kicked off the evening's major acts. Delivering all the popular tracks from her debut album New Name, she was able to get patrons going with a strong performance.

The other female on the bill, Stephens, was next, and she too would ignite her audience, particularly the females, with her brand of music and performance.

Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet, Handle Di Ride, Bomb Wuk, What's Your Story, After You, These Streets, and It's A Pity were all delivered with satirical comments in-between.

Rising act Kabaka Pyramid, who is part of roots reggae's new wave, made good work of his 45-minute set.

He energised his loyal fans and earned a few new ones during his time on the stage. The same can be said of Raging Fyah, the Bull Bay based reggae band. They dropped tracks including Step Out A Babylon and Jah Glory before closing out with the melodic Judgement Day.

It was clear, however, that most of patrons at the well-supported event came to see Chronixx. They would have to wait until just after 2:00 am and were not disappointed.

Chronixx had the audience at the Blue Mountain venue rocking for the next hour with the strong string of hits he has been able to deliver in his relatively short musical career.

Start a Fire, They Don't Know, Never Give Up, were well received. He would be joined by Kabaka Pyramid for Mi Alright and paid homage to reggae queen Marcia Griffiths with Feel Like Jumping. He showed his softer side on Somewhere and Smile Jamaica before kicking up the tempo and rounding out his set with Here Comes Trouble, Behind Curtain and Odd Ras.

Once Chronixx exited the stage many patrons saw it as their cue to leave the venue. However, those who remained were treated to a stirring performance by Third World.

Still reeling from the passing of lead singer Bunny Rugs, the band — with AJ Brown on lead vocals — treated fans to all the favourites for which they are known.

Although Brown is no Bunny Rugs, his voice does blend into the sound of the 'Reggae Ambassadors'.

The 40 years of reggae produced by the aggregation swept across the hills and valleys of the mountain range aided by the ever-present winds.

The two-day festival ended last night.





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