BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter email@example.com
AFTER a seven-year break, the popular Startime series made its comeback Saturday to an impressive turnout at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.
It was the usual suspects as far as acts but that was not a deterrent to die-hard fans who danced and sang along to every performer who took the stage. Not even a sudden downpour dampened the enthusiasm as patrons whipped out umbrellas and continued to party. For the unprepared, it proved too much and they beat a hasty retreat from the venue.
The evening saw strong performances from singers Marcia Griffiths, George Nooks, Ken Boothe and deejay Big Youth.
Dubbed by some as the Queen of Reggae, Griffiths lived up to that lofty title.
“This year I celebrate 49 years in the business and a lot of you want to know my age… well, I’m as young as I feel,” she declared before dishing out her hits, complemented by some fancy footwork.
Fans got more than they bargained for when she called Beres Hammond on stage to perform Live On followed by Freddie McGregor for United We Stand. Her collaborations rounded out with Bob Andy on Young Gifted and Black.
A dapper George Nooks excited with Riding For A Fall and Left With A Broken Heart before paying tribute to Dennis Brown with a medley of his songs. Before going into his own hit Tribal War, Nooks appealed for a crime-free Jamaica.
Celebrating his 50th year in the music business, Ken Boothe could do no wrong. He performed his biggest hits which included Everything I Own, Silver Words, The Train Is Coming and Puppet on a String. All to sustained applause.
Big Youth showed why he is rated as one of music's godfathers with a sterling set.
It seemed he was determined to prove his fitness as he pranced, kicked and gyrated, to the delight of the crowd.
In between I Pray Thee, S90 Skank and Every Nigger Is a Star, he made an impassioned plea for criminals to stop targeting children. Big Youth then closed with Hit The Road Jack.
Derrick Morgan, The Mighty Diamonds, Johnny Clarke and John Holt performed to a diminished audience as persistent rain took its toll.
Backing band for the evening was Lloyd Parks and We the People.